Updated: Nov 1
If you're someone who starts your day with a hot cup of tea, this is your next crowd pleasing breakfast. This French toast get soaked in a strong maple Rooibos infused custard. A surprisingly light dish, it's made more decadent with maple and ginger infused pears, and sticky pear syrup. Pear and maple are a match made in heaven, so I doubled down and included it in two ways - the actual pear gets served on top (like having French toast with compote), then the juices from the pear are cooked down with maple, brown sugar and spices to make a sweet, spicy syrup. You'll want to serve this sophisticated syrup with ALL of your future pancake, waffle and French toast breakfasts.
Maple Rooibos French Toast with Spiced Pears & Pear Syrup
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes Yield: 6-7 servings (12-14 pieces of French toast)
For the French Toast
1 loaf (450 g, approx 12-14 slices) day old French bread
1 & 1/2 cups milk (2% or whole)
2 tbs loose leaf maple Rooibos tea
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
2-3 tbs butter for frying
For the Spiced Pears & Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 inch piece cinnamon
1 tbs fresh ginger (about 1 thin slice), smashed
A pinch of salt
3 pears (about 2 & 1/2 cups), peeled, cored and diced
Freshly whipped cream and butter, to serve
To a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the milk and tea leaves. Turn the heat up to medium low and when small bubbles just start forming around the edge of the pan, turn the heat off. This took about 15 minutes for me, but may take a little more or less time depending on the size of pan you use. Let the tea milk steep for 15 minutes.
While the tea is steeping, start the pears. To a heavy bottomed saucepan, add all of the ingredients for the spiced pears except for the pear. Bring it up to a boil over high, then add the pears and turn the heat to medium. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the pears and set them aside in a serving bowl - these will be used as a condiment for the French toast. You should be left with just the liquid in the pan. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes to cook out some of the water, until it has reached the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the syrup into a gravy boat to pour over the French toast, and set aside until ready to serve.
Strain the tea infused milk into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, and whisk very well until frothy, 3-4 minutes. To a large, shallow roasting pan (large enough to fit all of the bread slices) add half of the tea infused French toast batter. Lay the bread in the batter, then pour the remaining batter on top. Let the bread soak for 1-2 mins, then flip to allow both sides to soak up the batter. If you don't have a pan large enough to fit all of the bread, you can do this in 2 smaller dishes by dividing the batter in fourths instead of in half.
Heat a griddle pan over medium heat. Once hot, some butter to the pan, then place 5-6 slices of bread (depending on the size of the pan) into the hot butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, then repeat with remaining bread. Check the bread after 1-2 minutes to make sure it's not getting to brown - if it is, turn the heat down to medium low.
Serve warm with the pears and the pear syrup on the side, as well as with extra butter and fresh whipped cream
You can substitute French bread with brioche or challah bread
You can substitute maple Rooibos tea with black tea