How to make perfect French Toast and use your leftovers to make the perfect Monte Cristo Sandwich
When French toast is done right there’s nothing more satisfying: the whisper of a crisp crust yielding to that hot creamy rich, slightly sweet and fragrant, custardy bread that’s cooked just-through. Here’s how to get all that in your kitchen, and I’ve added the easy instructions for transforming those leftovers (if there are any!) into a most delicious Monte Cristo sandwich. The perfect “recipe” to enjoy a holiday weekend of super delicious eating.
Recipe: Perfect French Toast
Makes 8 pieces
1 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg*
¼ teaspoon salt
8 slices (1/2-inch) day-old bread
4 tablespoons butter, plus 4 additional tablespoons for brown butter maple syrup
½ cup maple syrup, optional – for brown butter maple syrup
*Optional: If you prefer that hint of cinnamon with your French toast, add in just a pinch, no more than ½ teaspoon, in place of the nutmeg. Or, for a fuller, more complex flavor try The Spice & Tea Exchange Baker’s Blend or Autumn Harvest Blend.
In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, vanilla, nutmeg and salt until well combined. (Prepare ahead: you can do this the night before. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
Preheat oven to 375º F. Prepare two rimmed sheet pans by placing a baking rack in each. Set aside. Pour custard mixture into a shallow bowl or pie pan.
Dip each slice of bread into the custard mixture and soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then place on the rack in one of the pans. Using a kitchen spoon, spread a little more custard over the dipped bread. Let the bread sit to absorb the custard for 1 to 2 minutes.
Place a large skillet over medium heat to warm pan, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1 tablespoon of butter; when bubbles subside and the butter is just beginning to brown place 2
slices of the bread into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, and then about 1 minute more on the other. Remove from pan and place on the second rack; repeat with the remaining bread then place the browned toasts into the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the toasts are cooked through and the centers are slightly puffed.
While the French toasts are in the oven, add 4 tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt. When the butter is bubbling remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup. Let cool.
Remove the French toasts from the oven and serve immediately with the brown butter maple syrup, or your favorite addition such as whipped cream, powdered sugar, or fruit.
Recipe: Perfect Monte Cristo Sandwich
This sandwich is absolutely divine and a great way to use up those last pieces of French toast! It makes a hearty and substantial serving, so don’t hesitate to cut into four pieces and serve as a light snack or appetizer.
Leftover Perfect French Toast (for a sandwich you need at least 2 pieces)
Cheese – preferably Gouda and Swiss, sliced thin
Turkey and Ham cold cuts
Powdered Sugar, to garnish
Currant Jelly, for service
Place the French toast slices into a toaster oven and lightly toast to warm through. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on each piece of toast. On one toast layer some Gouda slices and turkey slices; on the other layer the Swiss and ham. Return to the toaster oven or place under a broiler to heat the cold cuts and melt the cheese a bit. Combine the two pieces to make a sandwich; dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm with currant jelly.