French Toast in crispy Tempura batter, tantalized by candied Asian pear, sweet morsels of cranberries and raisins and drizzled with organic maple syrup. Sure to become a front runner Sunday staple.
Easter weekend is upon us, and with that comes a plethora of dishes, from an abundance of cultural backgrounds. I often wondered what it would be like to celebrate Easter in a huge park, with food from every culture possible, ok maybe not a park, not big enough, maybe a city, lol. It's a thought...........
For me Easter is a spiritual experience, not in the dogmatic sense, but in a natural science way. Breaking it down to bare nature essentials. It is spring and winter has passed, well for some, and in the winter months comes the beginning of ideas starting to formulate in our minds, I guess a hibernation of some sort. With spring starting, comes the planting of those seed ideas, plans, goals, and not to mention fresh growing produce. As a matter of fact my parents have already seeded some lettuce, and it is coming up. Amazing thing to see in its pure simplicity. Getting back to Easter though I use this time to do some soul cleaning. I get rid of old, outmoded, unused, and wasted ideas, space occupying things, and I plant seeds for new ideas, better living and what my ultimate goal may be. For most of us happiness is very vast, and may contain different things in balance to keep us in that state, and it is up to us to figure that out, working hard, dodging judgement and ridicule sometimes. Standing our ground not as a wall but as a well made non stick pan, that just takes negativeness and helps it fall to the ground to be recycled. I don't want to dis-guard religious celebrations and the symbol of Easter with death and resurrection. I guess if we mastered living in the moment this death and birth occurs instantaneously, and every experience becomes fresh and new. In some funny sort of way, this is what I have done with the recipe for a beautiful Easter Sunday Breakfast. Today I have taken the simple and well loved french toast from its simple egg wash and into the frying pan method and kicked it up to a new level of experience with the addition of a few key ingredients to transform the soft, rich, doughy texture, into a nicely battered crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful inside textural french toast experience. Today being Easter and family around I have created Easter French Toast in Crispy Tempura Batter.
Let's put these French Toast together:
I like using a nice rustic bread for french toast. This ensures the edges to remain firm and facilitate the crispiness that most of us so love. I bought this bread from a cute little boulangerie in the old Strathcona area of Edmonton called Bonjour Bakery, be prepared for line ups as this place is a favorite amongst many, and their wares from baguette to croissant, all kinds of breads to specialties, and also cheese etc are in one word, fantastique! Along with this beautiful rustic bread are some farm fresh eggs from those happy free range chickens. I always imagine a scene from Woodstock, but instead of people, chickens! I know what an imagination, lol. That's what my teachers would tell my mother, when I was in elementary. Back to the french toast, add in some cinnamon, cardamon, vanilla, sugar and a good quality organic milk, you are almost set to get going, now for the pièce de resistance, the crispy factor. I used regular all purpose flour and blended in some tempura flour. Whisked that beautiful batter till it was smooth and just running off the spoon. The key here is not to make it too thick as the inside of the french toast would take a lot of time to cook. Get a nice heavy cast iron skillet to medium to high heat, and be attentive as the toast could burn so you have to watch it carefully to get that nice crispy golden brown coating just right.
Now I have to tell you I was in the south side of the city for a meeting and after the meeting I stumbled upon a most interesting and delightful Japanese/Korean grocery market. When I went inside I was like a kid in a candy store, so many unique ingredients, produce, and products, I filled a couple of bags, potstickers, tofu, noodles, some Asian vegetables and juice, and when I was at the till I noticed these pears nicely wrapped in a foam mesh as to protect them from bruising, golden in color and beautiful lightly textured uniform peel, so guess what, yes into the bag it went. This is the topping for the french toast.
I decided to caramelize these pears in that cast iron skillet, but before doing that I had to have a few slices, OMG...... so juicy, sweet, amazing, these are going to caramelize beautifully. As the pears were sauteing in the pan I sprinkled them with a good quality brown sugar and a drizzled maple syrup, which would ensure a nice candied effect on the surface of the pears, and would so enhance the Easter crispy french toast. And of course knowing my creative voice beckoning me to add in some dried cranberries and raisins, what the hell why not it's Easter!
I plated these beauties, and with a dusting of powdered sugar and a nice drizzle of pure organic maple syrup, we are ready to feast on this wonderful start of the Festive Easter day. The nicely crisp golden brown, vanilla crust encasing the moist cinnamon and cardamon soft inside, tantalized by the candied Asian pear and those naturally sweet morsels of cranberries and raisins, resurrecting an old favorite breakfast, giving birth to a modern age cultural infused diverse delicious and decadent Easter French Toast in Crispy Tempura Batter. As some are itching to start Easter egg hunts, others being creative, creating masterful mandalas of art on the wondrous oval shaped creations, some intricate and some simple yet profound. Elders and not so elderly, prepping for the dinner that will come later, and of course the chocolate flowing in forms of shapes and eggs in abundance, but remember don't ruin your supper it's going to be a good one!
- ½ loaf of rustic bread sliced in ½ inch slices( 6 slices)
- 2 fresh organic free range chicken eggs
- ⅓ cup organic 2% milk
- ½ teaspoon pure organic vanilla
- ⅓ cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons tempura flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamon
- 1 Asian pear
- Small handful dried cranberries
- Small handful of raisins
- 3 tablespoons of peanut oil for cooking
- ⅓ cup of organic pure maple syrup
- In a bowl combine flour, tempura flour, cinnamon, cardamon, and salt.
- blend well till ingredients are evenly combined
- In another bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and whisk till smooth and velvety.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry slowly whisking as you start to combine and mix well till all ingredients are well incorporated and batter id lump free and smooth.
- Take bread slices and place into batter and coat each side for about 1 minute until bread is well coated and slightly saturated.
- Place 2 tablespoons of peanut oil into cast skillet.
- Heat up pan to medium to high heat.
- Place battered bread and cook each side till nice and golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Place cooked french toast into oven on lowest heat possible to keep warm.
- Drizzle in remaining peanut oil into skillet and heat to medium ti high heat.
- Place pear wedges into pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Repeat for the other side.
- Check to see a nice golden caramel color on the surface then turn over.
- The pears cook for about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Just before pears are done toss in cranberries and raisins and cook till slightly softened.
- Take french toast out of the oven and plate with pears and cranberries and raisins.
- Dust with some powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Ready to serve.
- Happy Easter!
You can substitute half and half cream for the milk to make it more luxurious.
Also to get the right heat in the pan test it with a little batter, just drop place a drop in the pan if it burns quickly turn heat down.
- Serving Size: 4 servings
From Nicoletta and I at SugarLoveSpices:
We wish all our fellow bloggers, viewers and families a most Happy and Wonderful Easter!
Today I am sharing with you a poem I wrote a few years back. I think it sums up what I was trying to express in the beginning.
Enjoy it along with the Easter French Toast in Crispy Tempura Batter.
Awaken the spirit of Bear
Oh great one as you awaken from your slumber
You stretch out and smell the scent of fresh lumber
You awaken the great spirit
The spirit of the unconscious dimension
A place very few ever like to mention
Lunar one, goddess of the moon
I hear the sound of the midnight loon
You are symbolic of the seven stars
Linked together like the moons of mars
Forming a great constellation
With your own stellar migration
The star formation we call the big dipper
A cluster that is a real night tripper
Lighting up the northern sky
Ursus major, Universal minor
Keeper of the abyss
Hoping you will lead us to bliss
You are a great healing physician
During this difficult time of change and transition
We call for your incredible powers
To heal our temples, our solemn towers
You link us to the trees
That you seem to climb with ease
Showing us how these towers
Link heaven and earth powers
And our own process of death and rebirth
That takes a lot of strength and girth
You remind us to keep our cubs alive
Climb those trees and observe the hive
But also to remember
That we need to surrender
To the quiet of our den
And find our answers deep within
And in the spring
Our ideas begin to blossom
We see the innocence of the baby possum
Remembering that nurturing is needed
To the ideas that are seeded
In our subconscious mind
The meat behind the rind
We also need to remember
In times when we feel dismembered
In our times of challenging strife
Remember the natural sweetness of life
Do not let this honey go wasted
Bring it out, dance and shout
The honey of life will definitely be tasted
And so this brings our time to an end
Your wounds and pains in time will end
Let’s sing and dance
Awaken to chance
Face our fears, and release our tears
Have the courage to spare and dare
Dare to awaken the spirit of bear
By: Loreto Nardelli
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