It’s the middle of summer. Among the thousands of vacu-seal bags of produce in your freezer, you have a bag of cherries. What to do….?
If you have a well-stocked liquor cabinet and random herbs growing in your front yard, the possibilities are endless!
For instance, you could totally rip off one of the super-yummy menu items from last year’s Restaurant Week at Stephen Pyles…
(a.k.a. the infamous thyme-infused cherries jubilee with goat cheesecake!)
…and here’s my ripoff version for breakfast:
French Toast with Cherry Sauce
- White bread. The staler the better. You could even use up the rest of that super-dense Italian loaf that you got at the farmers’ market two weeks ago! (Or at least, that’s what I did…)
- Cherries. (Duh.) About 1/2 cup per person.
- A few sprigs of thyme
- Something alcoholic. Preferably something that goes with cherries. Vodka might be nice, as would brandy. I used Triple Sec. You’ll probably need 1/4 cup liquor per cup of cherries
- A sprinkle of cornstarch. Maybe 1 teaspoon per cup of cherries?
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
- A dash of salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar per cup of cherries.
- a few eggs
- milk or cream
- powdered sugar
- This is important!
- For Sunday a.m. listening, I highly recommend Morcheeba or Zero 7. Or maybe even Thievery Corporation or Hall and Oates. Whatevs.
- Crank it and get to cookin’. Because you aren’t really cooking unless you’re totally jamming out to some groovy tunes… =-D
- If you are working with a bag of cherries from the grocery store, you’ll want to get up super early in the morning and pit them. My cherry pitter from Williams-Sonoma is one of my most prized possessions. For real.
- Throw the pitted cherries into a bowl, add sugar, cinnamon, salt, and thyme*, and stir. Let these sit and get syrupy while you make the french toast…
- *A note on the thyme: You can either leave the sprigs whole and remove the stems after cooking, or you can strip the leaves off the stems before cooking. Whatever floats yer boat….
- If bread isn’t already sliced, get a serrated knife and make 1/2″ slices of bread.
- In a decent-sized casserole dish, mix together eggs (about one egg per 2 slices of bread) and milk. Add cinnamon and mix some more.
- Add bread to dish and let soak. Flip over after a few minutes and soak some more. (See why we wanted a wide, flat dish?)
- In a wide skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter. Add bread and fry.
- When the first side is brown, flip over and brown the other side.
- Remove when done.
Cherry Sauce, cont’d:
- Melt 1-2 Tbsp butter in a small pan over medium-hi heat.
- Add cherries and cook for a few minutes.
- Add your beverage of choice and let the alcohol cook out. This will also thicken the sauce a bit.
- If the sauce isn’t thick enough, add a sprinkle of cornstarch, stir, and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Cut each piece of french toast in half and assemble on plates in your pattern of choice.
- Divide cherry sauce among servings of french toast.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.