And when in season, fresh local sweet cherries need especially little help from sugar. Which is why cherries and orange juice need just a little natural maple syrup to make a rich, gooey and decadent sauce to dress these baked French Toast slices stuffed — of course — with even more cherries. It's like having dessert for breakfast without the guilt!
Baked Cherry-Stuffed French Toast with Cherry-Orange SauceOther French Toast recipes you may enjoy:
butter for greasing
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole fat milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh grated orange zest
16 fresh sweet cherries, pitted
4 slices fresh bakery sandwich bread, cut 1-1/2 inches thick
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400º and grease a large 13×9-inch baking pan with a generous layer of butter.
Whisk together the eggs in a medium bowl with the milk, vanilla and orange zest until well blended. Pour into the baking pan and set aside.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut a wide pocket in the side of each bread slice and stuff 4 cherries in each of the pockets.
Place the filled slices in the egg mixture. Let stand on each side for 5 minutes to absorb the egg mixture, and sprinkle the almonds over one side. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, and then turn over the slices to bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the cherry-orange sauce by bringing the orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cherries and bring to a boil again. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup, cornstarch and cinnamon, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another couple of minutes or until the sauce thickens. Reduce to a simmer until the French Toast is baked.
Serve the French Toast warm covered with hot cherry-orange sauce.
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