Classic challah french toast topped by a blackberry compote with meyer lemon and fresh mint. Carve some time out of your hectic holiday schedule to reconnect with a spouse or lover or friend because this breakfast/brunch is begging to be lingered over.
I understand that life gets crazy and most of the time you just have to jump on the crazy bus and roll with it. And I accept that that goes double for the holidays.
But even though I’m barreling down the holiday highway just like everybody else, wearing my New Year’s Day or Bust t-shirt, scouting out deals online and making a grocery list that includes ridiculous amounts of sugar I feel a part of me holding out. Resisting. Saying, “Don’t just let the year evaporate. Make it count.”
I think if you’re savvy enough (or stubborn enough) in the midst of all the craziness you can create pockets. Pockets of space gently tucked into a jampacked timeline.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Slow life down with this delicious french toast #breakfast.” quote=”Virtual sharing = Major karma points” theme=”style1″]
In one of these pockets you can regain the wheel, however briefly. It’s quieter there. The air moves more freely. And you remember that you’re only human. You can bring people with you into these pockets if you choose. But no one would blame you for slipping into one all by yourself.
I like to create my pockets around mealtimes because, at risk of stating the obvious, I really enjoy food and sharing it with the people I love. Nothing makes me resent the holidays more than being forced to ingest an egg mcmuffin and watered down coffee in the middle of a crowded mall. So, I will stubbornly and unapologetically jam my wooden spoon and a 12″ skillet into the wheels of time to get it to slow. The heck. Down.
Especially this breakfast. A long time fan of french toast, challah french toast is newer to me. I love the rich, egg-y sweetness of the bread and how it soaks up the custard without falling apart. The bread’s richness is cut beautifully by the clean taste of this blackberry compote with Meyer lemon and fresh mint. Meyer lemons are a little sweeter than their regular counterparts so they balance the tartness of the blackberries while lending their own citrus-y zing. You can substitute regular lemon if necessary but keep an eye out for the Meyers. This is their season.
I guess I’m old fashioned, but I get reflective at the end of the year (more on that in Thursday’s post) and I reflect best in front of a cup of tea and some french toast. It’s important to me to evaluate and appreciate where I’m at, where I’m coming from and where I’m heading. And if “where I’m heading” turns out to be “the mall” at least I’ll be there with a clear head and a happy belly.
- 3 cups fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint diced
- 1 loaf challah bread about 12 slices, cut in 1/2 inch slices
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, heat blackberries, lemon juice and raw honey over medium low heat until fully combined (about 3 to 4 minutes.)
Add almond extract, lemon zest and mint and simmer, stirring often and breaking up berries with the back of your spoon, until it reaches a syrup-like consistency.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a shallow bowl or casserole dish, whisk together eggs and milk.
Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir.
Soak as much bread as will fit in the custard for about 2 minutes per side.
In a large skillet over medium flame, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
Add soaked bread and fry about 3 minutes per side.
Remove to baking sheet in warm oven.
Continue until all bread is cooked.
Serve warm, topped with compote.
Compote will thicken a little bit as it cools.
I’ve linked this post up to #recipeoftheweek at A Mummy Too