RECIPE: Eggnog French Toast with Pear and Cranberry Compote





Happy Holidays Everyone!


I have been a up a bit...we do a mini celebration with my little family this morning, before we get primped and packed to go to Nonna's! My daughter gets up SUPER early and empties her stocking. She also gets to open one gift of her choice. We enjoy a special breakfast, listen to Christmas music, and hang out in our PJ's. This year, I have added peppermint hot cocoa to the menu as well. Right now, I have this wonderful Eggnog french toast baking in the oven. I prepped it last night, and also made the compote yesterday. So all it needed was some melted butter and in the oven it went. I'll heat up the compote in the microwave a little and we will have a breakfast the three kings would envy! The scents coming out of the oven right now are fantastic! So I thought I would share this with you, because if you have extra eggnog and are coming up empty on a brunch items tomorrow, this would be wonderful! Just assemble it before bed tonight, and you'll be all set tomorrow morning.

And during this time, please keep the families in CT in your heart and prayers this holiday season. I cannot imagine the pain and sadness they are feeling right now. I wish them some peace over the next few days, if that's at all possible.

 And I wish you all a happy time with family and friends. Remember, every day is a gift, and so are the others you are with. Thank you for your continued support, love and feedback here on the blog and sharing this crazy "mom-life" journey with me. XO

Eggnog French Toast with Pear and Cranberry Compote
adapted from epicurious.com

Compote
3 ripe pears, cored, sliced, then each slice halved
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. orange juice
dash of salt
2 cups spiced apple and pear cider (Trader Joe's or other)
6 Tbsp. corn syrup
4 cardamom pods
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
8 Tbsp. butter

French toast
1 large country loaf (about 14 oz.) sliced horizontally, then vertically into 8 slices. So you should have 16 total pieces, each about 1 inch thick or so.
4 eggs
4 cups light eggnog
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. rum flavoring
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter


Directions:


First make the compote. In a saucepan, boil the apple/pear cider with the corn syrup, brown sugar and cardamom pods. Turn down to simmer and cook down to about 1 cup (roughly 15 min). Once reduced, whisk in 4 Tbsp. butter. Set aside.

In a large saute pan, melt the other 4 Tbsp. butter. Add the pears and cook until softened. Then add the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and salt. Cook until the cranberries pop open. Add the reduced apple syrup, and simmer until mixture turns into a syrupy consistency, about 8 min. more. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be made the day before, just reheat when ready to serve.




Next, make the egg custard. Whisk 4 eggs in a large bowl until beginning to foam. Add the spices, salt and rum, and whisk until well combined. Pour in the eggnog and whisk until combined. Lay bread slices in two 13 x 9 baking dishes ( I used one this size and one smaller). Pour the egg custard evenly between dishes. Using a fork, flip the bread slices over so both sides get well coated. Wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator overnight.


The next morning, preheat oven to 375˚. Let the pans sit out at room temperature for about 30 min. I flip the bread over one more time so the side facing up all night gets a good soaking while sitting. Meanwhile, melt 4 Tbsp. butter, and spoon half the butter on a large foil lined baking sheet. Spread the butter around with the back of a spoon. Drain and lay the bread slices snugly on the baking sheet. Spoon any extra eggnog batter on top, then spoon and rub the remaining 2 Tbsp. melted butter over the tops. Bake in the oven for about 20 min., or until tops are getting puffy, dry and slightly golden. Flip the bread over and bake for another 15-20 min. Cooking times will vary depending on how moist the bread is, how much water versus cream is in your eggnog and how thick your baking sheets are. My slices took longer to cook because they were pretty soggy going in. Just keep a timer going and check on them as you go. Serve warm with warmed compote.




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