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…

Is it ice cream? No, it's cheesecake!

(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

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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
  • butter
  • powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Music:

  • 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

Cherry Sauce:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. *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….

French Toast:

  1. If bread isn’t already sliced, get a serrated knife and make 1/2″ slices of bread.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?)
  4. In a wide skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter.  Add bread and fry.
  5. When the first side is brown, flip over and brown the other side.
  6. Remove when done.

Cherry Sauce, cont’d:

  1. Melt 1-2 Tbsp butter in a small pan over medium-hi heat.
  2. Add cherries and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add your beverage of choice and let the alcohol cook out.  This will also thicken the sauce a bit.
  4. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, add a sprinkle of cornstarch, stir, and cook for a couple more minutes.

Assembly:

  1. Cut each piece of french toast in half and assemble on plates in your pattern of choice.
  2. Divide cherry sauce among servings of french toast.
  3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  4. Nom.

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