Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down French Toast

Sundays around Chez Phillips are pretty casual affairs; church, lots of sports watching and casual meals.  This morning I decided it was time for something fun for breakfast and I needed to use up some pineapple from Specialty Produce  and challah that I'd bought at Bread and Cie.

When I wrote my book Perfect Party Food I devised many delicious variations on French Toasts that involved a layer of fruit in a brown sugar syrup on the bottom and custard soaked bread on the top; the baked French toast was then baked, and turned out. The molten fruit and syrup on the top drips into the French toast giving it a delicious flavor.
This is a great way to get rid of leftover fruit; think bananas, apples, pears, pineapple, berries, peaches, plums---this can either be breakfast food or dessert depending on your preference.  We had this with a Denver omelet frittata.

Pineapple Upside Down French Toast
 Serves 6 to 8

For the Bread 

6 cups torn egg bread (challah, or try the Hawaiian sweet egg bread)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla paste

  1. Put the bread into a large mixing bowl.  
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon and vanilla.  
  3. Pour the mixture over the bread, and stir to soak the bread.  Set aside while preparing the fruit. 
  4. Do-Ahead:  The bread can be soaked overnight in the refrigerator and then spread on the fruit.  

For the Fruit

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons dark rum (optional but amazing!)
2 to 3 cups cut up fruit (peeled, cored and thinly sliced or pineapple cut into chunks)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  
  2. In a small skillet, melt the butter, add the brown sugar, and stir until the sugar is melted.  
  3. Remove from the heat and add the rum, stirring to combine.  Pour the mixing into the baking dish, and top with the fruit. 
  4. Spread the bread mixture over the fruit and place on a baking sheet to catch any drips.  
  5. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the filling is set.  
  6. Using a dish that is 2-inches larger than the baking dish, place the dish on top of the baking dish, and flip the French toast.  (If you don't want to do this, it's not a problem, just serve, spooning the juices and fruit over the French toast)  
  7. Do-Ahead:  If you would like to freeze this, bake it for 25 to 30 minutes--the center will still be a little jiggly, but will register 150 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer.  Cool completely, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 1 month.  Defrost in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and bake covered @ 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes to heat through. 
Fresh pineapple is coming in right now, pick one up, they are like honey!  But if you still have apples, or pears hanging around, this will work well for them, too.  Other add-ins---think nuts, raisins, other flavorings---almond is great for peaches and plums.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    My name is Lourdes and I am making a children's book. I was hoping to use the picture of the pineapple that you have on this post. Is this ok? You can e-mail me if you prefer that method of communication.