French Toast with Mixed Berries

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

2 cups half-and-half or milk

Three 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken up into pieces

6 large eggs

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1 baguette (French bread), about 2 feet long

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Confectioners' sugar

Marinated Berries, recipe follows

Marinated Berries

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, and seeds scraped out with a knife and reserved

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon 

Grated zest of 1/2 orange

1 cup water

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 pint raspberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 pint blueberries, rinsed

1/2 pint strawberries, rinsed, tops trimmed, halved or quartered, if large

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half with the cinnamon, just until bubbles form around the side of the pan. Remove from the heat; set aside to steep for 30 minutes. 
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the nutmeg and sugar. Strain the half-and-half into the eggs and discard the cinnamon pieces. Whisk to make a smooth batter. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  4. Slice the bread with a serrated knife on the diagonal, into 18 1-inch-thick pieces. 
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add half the butter. Dip 9 of the bread slices into the batter and add to the skillet. Cook the slices, turning once, until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the toasts to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread. Bake until the toasts are warmed through and slightly puffy, about 8 to 10 minutes. 
  6. Divide the toast on large plates and dust with confectioners' sugar. Top with the berries and serve immediately.

Marinated Berries

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, citrus zests, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer very gently until syrupy, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the citrus juices. Combine the berries in a bowl. Strain the warm syrup over the berries and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve. 

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