Tuesday, October 26, 2010

She's got you wrapped around her finger....

Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Mascarpone Whipped Cream. 

Sweet Martha.

Yea. I just said that.  That happened in my kitchen.  The skies opened, the Marthas descended.  And out popped pumpkin French toast SO GOOD, you could just call it quits right there at that plate.  Just give it up, there is no way you’re going to love life more than this moment right here.

Well, that’s what I kept telling myself as I practically assaulted that plate of incredible breakfast delight.  It all started from a morning stroll at the farmers market.  (Doesn’t it always seem to start there? It does for me…)  

I am walking along, minding my own business, thinking about blood oranges and how badly I want them, and BOOM.  The cranberries are here.  No, not the band ( Trust me, I would have FLIPPED OUT with joy and started singing ‘zombie’)  The first cranberries of the season, are right here in Lincoln Park’s Farmers Market! 

I knew what it meant.  It meant a culinary marriage so beautiful you had to think twice about it.   Are you sure?  Cranberries with pumpkin French toast?  Was Martha incarcerated?!?!! YEAS I am sure!  

Put on your stretchy pants. And welcome, to fat kid heaven.  

Pumpkin French Toast with Cranberry Mascarpone Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cranberry puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup mascarpone
4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
8 slices day old brioche, sliced 1/2-inch thick
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pint cranberries
Confectioners' sugar
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Combine sugar, 1 cup of cranberries and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, until the cranberries start to burst. Turn the heat to low and let simmer until the mixture becomes syrupy and the cranberries easily fall apart. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Let come to room temperature. 

French Toast: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put a baking sheet in the oven. 

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt in a large baking dish until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, ground spices, milk, 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, vanilla and rum and whisk until smooth. 

Put 4 slices of the bread in the custard mixture and let sit for 2 minutes. Carefully turn over the slices and let sit until the bread is completely soaked through, about 2 more minutes. 

While the bread is soaking, heat 3 tablespoons of the in a large pan over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to sizzle. Cook the 4 slices of the bread until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip over and continue cooking until the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Remove to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with paper towels and repeat the process with the butter and remaining 4 pieces of bread. 

Combine the mascarpone and remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a bowl and using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and fold in the cranberry reduction. 

Remove the French toast from the oven and arrange them on a serving platter. Top 4 slices of the toast with a large spoonful of the cranberry mascarpone and some of the cranberries. 

Hold your breath.  Try to stop the tears. Running, down, your face. I know it.  Run to your nearest market and find the cranberries.  They’re heeerrrrreeeee!




  1. This sounds delicious! What a great brunch/dessert recipe for fall! The fresh cranberries from the farmer's market must have been awesome :)!

  2. Wow-wa. That looks so good! Love farmer's markets. Got to wait two days til the one comes near work and then maybe I can swing an actual lunch break to go. Gorgeous photos!

  3. I feel like I have a list of foods that you make that I want to try, and only a few days with you around. this is a problem! Seriously - this.looks.amazing!

  4. This looks AAAA-Mazing. I also love that the very first ingredient is heavy cream. You don't even need to read the rest...you know it's going to be good ;)

  5. first of all, GORGEOUS. second of all, LOOKS INCREDIBLE. third of all, I want to kiss your face. LOVE YOU!

  6. oh no you DIDN'T!!!! I'm lusting after that deliciousness!!

  7. I love anything pumpkin! Great idea for a weekend brunch :)

  8. Wow what a luxurious breakfast! I am impressed! Mmmm

  9. Yummmy!! I'll make you an apple dutch baby if you make me some of this french toast!

  10. OH MY WORD I can't stop drooling over your delicious pumpkin french toast! And then you went and put cranberry mascarpone whipped cream on it?! You're incredible! YUM that looks sooooo good.