Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins
In 'American Home Cooking' by Cheryl & Bill Jamison
- white bread, unsliced (1 lb loaf)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 -2 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups pitted tart cherries, mashed lightly (fresh, frozen, canned)
- 3⁄4 cup whole milk
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream or 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- salt, a pinch
- unsalted butter, for pan frying
- vegetable oil, for pan frying
- powdered sugar
- real maple syrup, warmed
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Butter a baking sheet.
- Cut the bread into 8 equal slices, about 1 inch thick.
- Prepare filling--mash together in a medium bowl the cream cheese with the sugar and almond extract.
- Stir in the cherries and add more sugar if the flavor is overtly tart.
- The mixture should be thick and chunky.
- In a shallow dish or bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- With a serrated knife, cut a pocket into the side of each piece of bread, carefully slicing into but not all the way through the bread.
- Spoon equal portions of the filling into each slice.
- Dunk the stuffed bread slices into the egg mixture and soak them several minutes, turning if needed to coat evenly, until saturated but short of falling apart.
- Warm 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon oil together on a griddle or in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Cook the French toast in batches briefly until golden brown and lightly crisp, turning once.
- Place the first slices on the baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven.
- Continue cooking the remaining slices, adding more butter and oil as needed.
- When all of the French toast is ready, dust with powdered sugar, sprinkling it through a fine sieve.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup.