Stock Image French Toast from WikiCommons by JS Patchwork CC attribution 2.0 Generic
The Joy of Cooking 1967
This morning I woke up later than usual and was resolute in my decision to whip up some French Toast. I watched Bobby Flay and his lovely wife make brunch on the Cooking Channel yesterday and they inspired me. I have added orange juice to my French toast batter for years, it adds a little zing! Bobby made an orange sauce, so I decided to make a syrup. I consulted my favorite cookbook The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer for the base recipe. This book was written originally in 1931 and is on the shelves of most serious cooks. According to my Aunt Merry, the original version prior to the 1960s posthumous edits is the best, but it's hard to find. I scored my copy at a thrift store and it's from the late sixties. Still, lots of good stuff in these pages and many meals most folks simply do not cook anymore. (Including rabbit and squirrel...eek.) It also has the best chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe I've ever baked.
I combined an orange syrup inspired by Bobby Flay with the base recipe from The Joy of Cooking adding a few Madge extras...the final result was DIVINE! It was so good, I forgot to take a picture before we all devoured it. So this stock picture will have to do, sorry about that, but it's pretty much what it looked like. Were I presenting this to guests, an orange slice would be added to the mix. Bobby added orange slices to his sauce, I think perhaps some clementines or mandarin oranges could be good here too!
I don't usually slavishly follow recipes, I'm a dash and pinch kind of cook, which most of our grandmother's were as well. Here is my best approximation of what I did, but you may have to make a few adjustments. Use real butter, this is not a diet meal...nor should it be. As the divine Ms. Julia Child said, "With enough butter, anything is good."
Orange Scented French Toast with Orange Syrup
Inspired by Bobby Flay and The Joy of Cooking with a dash of Madge
8 slices bread (a nice sourdough or challah bread works best, we had to opt for whole wheat slices)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup half and half (you can use milk)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3-5 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
Dash of cinnamon
Skootch of nutmeg
Mix the eggs, milk, o.j. and spices in a bowl with a whisk. Place bread slices on cookie sheets and pour liquid on top. Make sure it's all covered thoroughly, pick the bread up to cover both sides. Allow to soak for 30 minutes.
Heat your pan to medium high adding 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook bread to a crispy brown on both sides. Cook all slices, adding more butter to pan if you run out. To keep warm, place in a 350 degree oven until all slices are finished cooking.
Heat a second pan to medium high and add orange juice, spices and brown sugar. Whisk while bringing mix to a rolling boil, keep mixing and allowing mixture to reduce to a syrup. Allow to simmer, whisking occasionally, while you finish cooking toast.
Serve with syrup poured on top and garnish with powdered sugar and an orange slice.