Remember those pears you ate in elementary school... the simple syrup drenched ones that came in little sealed plastic containers? I actually loved them to death as a kid. Here's staying true to my childhood likes and growing up at the same time.
How can I describe this dish... It tastes and smells like Thanksgiving? Hahahaha. Why yes, that's perfect.
Note: If you would like the flavors to develop further, let the pears soak in the sauce over night before serving on top of your french toast. I couldn't wait so I just went for it ;)
3-4 servings; 20-30min
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
couple of dashes of salt
2 tsp milk
1 tbsp melted butter
2 slices thick absorbent white bread (I used the white bread from deli counter IGA)
Sauce and pear
1 bosc pear (IGA) peeled, cored, and cut into slices
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp white wine
1 star anise
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
big pinch salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cold water
1/2 tsp corn starch
unsweetened cocoa powder
whipped cream or cream fraiche (optional)
vanilla ice cream (optional)
1. For pears and sauce: heat a small pot with juice, water, wine, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, salt, and sugar. Mix well. bring to a boil, add pears, then turn down heat to a simmer. Simmer ~15min or until pears come out to desired consistency. stir occasionally.
2. Combine all ingredients for french toast. Taste mixture to adjust for salt and sugar. If your liquid is not salty/sweet enough to begin with, your french toast will come out flat and boring. Both salt and sugar should be a bit over usual taste. When cooked with bread, flavors will even out. Soak bread thoroughly
3. Scoop out pears and place to side. Mix cold water and corn starch. add to sauce. Cook for ~1 to 2 min more or until thickened. turn off heat. strain sauce into a bowl to remove star anise pieces.
4. Heat non stick pan medium high heat. When heated through, add a generous pat of butter. Wait until butter is no longer opaque. Quickly coat one slice again in left over mixture before placing in pan. place face down. repeat. don't touch until one side has browned. swoosh pan back and forth with handle to loosen bread from pan. turn heat down to prevent burning. flip over and brown other side of each slice.
5. Plate: Take one slice of french toast. top with pears, sauce, and dusted cocoa powder (you can use your mini strainer for dusting).
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