If you’re like me, you mostly grew up eating pancakes with a little french toast thrown in the from time to time. If you ask me, a thick slice of bread fried to a nice crispy, golden-brown is a great way to start any day. Definitely a little more depth to them than pancakes.
Use a thick-cut, rustic bread for the best french toast.
The secret is all in the bread. You’ll want to use a dense, homemade bread, if you can. The fluffy store-bought loaf isn’t going to give them same effect. If you have a crusty artisan bread, that’ll work quite well. The greatest thing about french toast is that you can use day-old bread for even better results. So enjoy your bread fresh one day and use the leftover for this dish the next. Win-win!
Elevate with a cardamom fruit compote.
You could, of course, just smother this in vegan butter and maple syrup, but a simple homemade fruit compote is going to elevate this dish to a whole new level. We used apple and pear in ours, but there’s no reason you can’t use a variety of other fruits to create flavourful combinations.
Cardamom is the key. Maybe it’s just me, but I seldom use it. It’s going give your fruit compote a rich, unique spice. Using maple syrup to sweeten will help avoid some of the white-sugar shock. definitely sweet, but any recipe that doesn’t call for half a cup of granulated sugar is a small win. In my books at least.
I use an induction cooktop.
My personal preference is to use cast iron on an induction cooktop. It’s precise and quick to heat. The cast iron is non-stick and will give you that crispy, golden crust you want. Unfortunately, we don’t have an full induction stove. I have a small portable unit that I put on the counter. I use it daily. My stove doesn’t see much use. It’s just not as good. When better can be had at such low cost, I’m all in. If you’re interested, here are some options on Amazon.
You will love this french toast, so make a double-batch if you’re serving a large group.
Rustic Thick-Cut French Toast with Cardamom Apple-Pear CompotePrint Recipe
- — Compote —
- 1 pear
- 1 apple
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- — French Toast —
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 slices thick cut bread
- 1-2 tbsp oil or vegan butter, for frying
Begin with the compote. Peel the pear and apple. Remove the cores and dice into small cubes, no larger than 1 cm.
In a saucepan, add the apple, pear, maple syrup, cardamom, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. The mixture will thicken. Keep warm.
Time to make the french toast. In a bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Combine until there are no large lumps.
Warm the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Dip a slice of bread in the batter on each side. Only dip what you are immediately going to cook.
Fry 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and slightly crispy.
Serve with warm compote and top with fresh fruit, maple syrup, or powdered sugar, if desired.