Panettone French Toast Print Email

6 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
One 17 1/2 ounce loaf panettone
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
Confectioners' sugar
Marinated Berries or Glazed Apples and Pears, recipes follow

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and orange zest. Cut the crust off the top and bottom of the loaf with a serrated knife. Slice the loaf into 6 1-inch-thick rounds.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip 2 bread slices in the egg mixture and immediately lay them in the skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining slices of bread. Bake the toasts until warmed through and slightly puffed, about 8 to 10 minutes.

To serve, transfer the toasts to a large serving platter or plates and dust generously with confectioners' sugar. Serve with syrup, or even better, marinated berries or glazed apples and pears - recipes follow.

Marinated Berries
2 tablespoons sugar
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
1/2 pint blueberries, rinsed
1/2 pint strawberries, rinsed, tops trimmed, halved or quartered, if large

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.

Yield: 6 servings

Glazed Apples and Pears Compote
3 small Granny Smith apples or other tart baking apple (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3 Bosc pears (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
Grated zest of 2 oranges, plus their juice
Two 3-inch-long cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons Calvados, Apple Jack, or brandy (optional)

Peel, core, and cut both the apples and pears into 3/4-inch wedges. In a medium bowl toss the fruit with the lemon juice.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon sticks and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the fruit, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until glazed, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the orange juice, and cook until the fruit is easily pierced with a paring knife, about 1 minute more. If desired, add the Calvados. If cooking on a gas burner, carefully tip the pan toward the flame to flambe the alcohol; if cooking over an electric element, hold a long match near the mixture. Swirl the pan over the heat until the flame subsides. Serve warm.

From Food Network Kitchens

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Tme: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy