If you haven’t put it together yet—I’m a French toast junkie. Not only are they ridiculously simple to throw together, they are versatile too. Use any fruit that’s in season, switch up the spices, and it’s one of those dishes that’s comforting and easy to do while at the same time giving you something new for a change of appetite.
Due to my dwindling stash of frozen strawberries, I’ve had to improvise. As much as I love using berries in compotes, it’s not the most pocket-friendly option. And especially not when the French toast cravings strike as if on cue every weekend. This version uses oranges in its fresh, cooked, and preserved forms: the zest goes into the egg mixture that you dunk the bread into, and the sauce uses a big dollop of marmalade which is cooked down with fresh oranges until reduced and pulpy. Also served with a few orange segments on top for freshness.
I love Mandarin oranges and always have some on hand this time of year. They’re sweet as they are, and combined with the marmalade, make the sauce just sweet enough for my liking. When I do sweet things in the morning, I tone down sugar levels and not have them cross over into dessert territory. Feel free to use any variety of orange that’s in season where you live. The sugar levels might have to be amended based on how bitter/sweet your oranges and marmalade are. With regard to bread, the same goes: I use whole wheat, but use any kind you want or have.
ORANGE FRENCH TOAST
- 6 slices of bread (I use whole wheat)
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tbsp marmalade
- 2-3 oranges (see notes)
- 25 grams unsalted butter
- Zest the oranges - you want about 2 tsps of zest. Add the zest, eggs, and milk to a wide shallow bowl. Whisk to break up the yolks.
- Peel the oranges. Roughly chop one orange and set aside to serve with the French toast.
- Add the other two to a pan along with the marmalade. Squish the segments with your hand or a masher to break them down. Cook over a medium heat until it reduces and thickens to a sauce, about 5-7 mins.
- Cut up the butter into small pieces. Add a few knobs to a pan over medium heat. Soak the bread in the egg mixture, flipping a few times to make sure it’s soft without falling apart.
- Once the butter starts to melt in the pan, add the bread and cook until golden on both sides. Repeat with the rest of the bread adding more butter for each batch.
- Divide the French toasts between plates, pour the sauce over the top, and serve with the reserved orange segments.