Monday, January 12, 2015

thanksgiving revisited: pumpkin french toast

I resolved that my food photography would do better than the beige lumps of yesteryear and what do I show for my first recipe post of the year? Brown food. I am a moron. But this did not stop me from sharing my breakfast from Saturday morning because it was as delicious as it was nostalgic.

After thanksgiving I was pretty sure that I didn't need to see another pumpkin or turkey for another year; SB and I had attended three feasts in three days, a new Hong Kong record. I was in a tryptophan coma a turkeyed out...or so I thought.

We decided to have a low key Christmas, mostly due to the post-Thanksgiving hangover combined with the multitude of holiday events that we would attend due to work or social groups. I was slated for an office party, an SCAA banquet, and mini rugby potluck, a senior rugby committee dinner, and a senior rugby club banquet in the month of December. A few of the events featured turkey, but none featured pumpkins.

The extended holiday season combined with the lack of pumpkin at the tail end meant that on Friday evening as I was picking up a few grocery items in the store, I could not resist the discounted canned pumpkin that was sitting among marked down candy canes and Christmas puddings. I brought my prize home with intentions of baking a prize winning pie.

There's a saying about good intentions, but I can only remember it when SB fails to do something. Anyway, at 10pm on Friday night I was no longer enthralled with the idea of making a pie crust from scratch. Luckily, years ago, I had scanned my grandmother's dog eared index card collection of recipes and knew that there was a pumpkin bread recipe. I even had a few leftover cranberries to throw in to jazz up the loaf. Unfortunately as I was placing the loaf pan into the oven at midnight, I looked up to see SB walking across the room with a toothbrush in his mouth, clearly signalling that he would not be eating my delicious pumpkin bread when it was fresh from the oven and still had a crisp crust. This is when the idea of pumpkin french bread sprung into my head.

When I presented breakfast to SB the following morning, he was skeptical. He is a food purist except when he isn't, meaning that he always begins by resisting my culinary creations and ends by gobbling most of them down with relish. The exception is when I try to feed him broccoli, brussel sprouts, or organ meat. He took a tentative bite and then we waited for his mind to undergo a paradigm shift. Then he ate the entire plate of eight slices and I had to make more for myself. I'll mark this recipe down as a success. Unless you're one of those British folks who can't wrap your mind around eating sweet breakfast (Tony), then you're not going to go for this.

Pumpkin French Toast Recipe:

3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter for frying
8 slices of pumpkin bread, sliced 1 1/2 cm thick
Maple Syrup or preferred syrup

Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon, and pour into a shallow, rectangular dish. 

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and lightly grease it with a pat or more of butter.

Place a slice of bread in the egg mix. Wait ten seconds and flip over. Place the bread on the skillet and cook until golden brown, approximately one and a half to two minutes. Flip over and cook the other side. Serve immediately with maple syrup on the side.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe:

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
16 ounces cooked pumpkin puree


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Butter a loaf pan. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

In another mixing bowl, gently whisk the eggs for about a minute until they are lightly beaten. Add butter and incorporate. Add the pumpkin puree and mix together until incorporated. Slowly add in dry ingredients and stir together until fully blended. Add in nuts or cranberries if preferred.

Pour into load pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let stand for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Note: when making the pumpkin bread specifically for my french toast I only baked it for 25 minutes until it was slightly wet.

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