Another beautiful sunny winter day. It’s Friday and the kids go back to school Monday! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with them but it’s also okay to get back into a routine. It’s been a full week: lunch with friends; skiing; out for breakfast ; cooking with the children; and today brunch and sliding. Notice how most of it centers around food? Brunch at our house is typically the usual scrambled eggs, breakfast sausages, oven-roasted potatoes, toast and pancakes. So last night I was contemplating, what else can I make? I had a couple of containers of ricotta in the fridge that I still haven’t used, a container of strawberries and a challah bread in the freezer that I’ve been meaning to use. And then it came to me when I should have been falling asleep, I could make French toast sandwiches with the challah and stuff them with sweetened ricotta and strawberry compote. Perfect!
So I got to work early this morning. I took the challah out of the freezer and immediately made the strawberry compote so it would have time to cool slightly and thicken before I spread it on the challah. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I didn’t sweeten the strawberries very much. You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste. The same applies to the ricotta mixture. Next, I prepared the egg mixture to dredge the bread in and I was all set.
I must say the result was yummy. I, of course, made one without strawberries for certain picky eaters, I won’t say who! They quickly disappeared. I served the extra strawberry compote on the side for those who wanted to drizzle some on top. Definitely a keeper for future brunches.
Ricotta and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
For strawberry compote:
- 1 cup strawberries quartered
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- For ricotta mixture:
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
For French toast:
- 8 slices challah bread I cut slices from the center of the loaf for wider, even sized slices
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- butter for cooking
- maple syrup for serving
- icing sugar for serving optional
Start by preparing the strawberry compote. Wash, stem and quarter strawberries. Place in a small pan on medium heat and add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes until strawberries have broken down. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta with the powdered sugar and stir. Set aside.
Slice 8 slices of challah bread approximately 1 inch thick. In a shallow bowl combine 2 eggs with milk, cinnamon and vanilla.
Set a large shallow frying pan on medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Spread about 1/4 cup of ricotta and 2 tablespoons of strawberry compote on a slice of challah. Place another slice of challah on top and carefully dredge both sides of the sandwich in the egg mixture.
Place in the hot pan and cook on 1 side until browned, about 2 minutes, and with a spatula turn and cook on the other side until browned. Repeat with remaining challah, adding extra butter to your pan as needed. I was able to fit 2 at a time in my frying pan.
Serve hot, sprinkled with icing sugar, if desired, remaining strawberry compote and maple syrup.