Custard-Battered French Toast with Glazed Strawberries and Toasted Hazelnuts

recipe photo

Extra-thick slices of bread known as Texas toast dipped in creamy custard are the heart of Chef Scott's French toast. Buy it pre-sliced, or simply buy a whole loaf from the bakery and slice it to order at home. Whether they're strawberries or persimmons, let the farmers' market determine the ripest fruit for the job.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 extra-thick slices of bread or Texas toast
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar, plus 2 extra teaspoons
  • 1 cup cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup strawberries, or other seasonal fruit, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and crushed

Preparation:

  • To make the custard sauce, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt and the vanilla. Warm the cream and milk in a saucepan. When they are hot to the touch, whisk a couple of tablespoons of the heated liquid into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Add the remainder of the liquid to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, and stir, over low-medium heat, until the sauce just coats the spoon. Place the sauce into a clean bowl and cool it down by placing the bowl in ice water. Continue to stir until cool, and place in the refrigerator.
  • Toss the sliced strawberries with the two teaspoons of sugar. Set aside. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat for two minutes, then add one tablespoon of butter. When the butter starts to sizzle, turn up the heat to medium-high.
  • Remove the custard sauce from the refrigerator. Dip the bread, lightly coating each side with custard and place it in the pan, cooking no more than three slices at a time. Cook until each side is golden brown, flipping once or twice, for about six to seven minutes. Garnish with glazed strawberries and toasted hazelnuts. Serve immediately.