I don’t think it would come as a surprise to any of you guys that I love food! And I love sharing food in real life and on my site, here. And I get excited about it. And I’m really excited about this Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast. I know I’ve been talking about it with the recipes leading up to this French Toast. The Autumn Almond Pear Granola and the Pear Brown Sugar Caramel Syrup. And I don’t normally post twice in the same day, but the Pear Brown Sugar Caramel Syrup is kind of a sister recipe to this one and I couldn’t wait to share this French Toast.
I love this Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast. I love everything about it. The crispy, crunchy outside edges on that French Toast, the soft, custardy center. And then there’s the caramelly pears, the syrup and a dollop of mascarpone! And don’t forget another little sprinkle of the granola over the top. It’s insanely good.
About Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast:
So what you’re looking at in these skillets is four “logs” of custardy, granola coated, crispy French toast surrounded by soft, luscious caramelly pears, then all but drowned in the homemade syrup. A nice dollop of the Mascarpone is added and then more granola, this time in crunchy clusters tops the whole works. Gosh, I wish I had some right now!
Just to be clear, you don’t have to make your own granola for this recipe. You can use another cereal; use just about any kind of cereal you’d like & that can be broken down into pieces to coat the French toast. And you don’t have to make your own syrup, either. A store-bought will do. The recipe that inspired my Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast, Drunken French Toast from the Nighthawk Breakfast Bar didn’t do either.
As a matter of fact, I pretty much totally changed up the recipe in every way imaginable, but I did keep that dollop of rich Mascarpone. The Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast really needs that tangy richness to offset all the sweetness. I did cut back on the eggs (he used 8! yes 8!) all the sugar and some of the cream, and changed the bread and the cereal and it’s still the most decadent breakfast I’ve ever had!
Making Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast:
This French toast isn’t all that complicated to make, but it IS a bit messy! Once the bread is soaked in the custard, it gets pressed into the cereal. And that cereal doesn’t really like to stick that well, so it’s a challenge! I cut each serving into four “logs” so I could maximize the crispy crunchy outer edges. If you’d like, just cut into regular slices so that it’s easier and quicker. Your choice.
When cooking the Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast, I worked in batches. The butter browned up long before the French toast was done, and it was threatening to burn, so for the next batch, I used oil and butter, both in the pan. That worked much better. Potentially, if you’re just making slices, you can probably get by with cooking all the French toast at once, but if you’ve cut into logs (which are far cuter – can French toast be cuter? I think it can!) you’ll want to cook each serving individually.
One step I was really hoping to avoid was finishing the French toast in the oven, but the French toast crisped up so much better and needed that oven time to cook through. I hate extra little fiddly steps but sometimes they do make the final dish better. It’s also a great way to keep the French toast warm while the rest cooks.
The components for Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast
Saving Money on Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast:
One of the most expensive and potentially hard to find ingredients in my Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast is the Mascarpone Cheese. I had some of my Homemade Mascarpone in the fridge because I made it (it’s like 10 minutes to make and an overnight strain) and didn’t use it in my Strawberry Dream Cake. If Mascarpone is available and the price doesn’t bother you, by all means, buy it. If not I think it’s well worth making my own and you might want to give it a go. You can sub a bit of Greek Yogurt if you want.
The original recipe also calls for Challah, a rich, eggy bread which is another hard to find and potentially pricey ingredient. Now I don’t usually go so far as to make my own bread for French toast, even an Epic one (although I have always wanted to bake some Challah) so I used a good Italian loaf from the grocery, trimmed it and let it sit, loosely covered overnight. It worked very well.
Cream, eggs, and milk can all be found on the cheap at Aldi, along with butter, It’s well worth shopping there if you have on nearby. The homemade granola is a pittance compared to a storebought cereal, but regardless, the quality is so much better! I rarely buy any cereal any longer, but if you are looking for cereal or granola, I just gotta mention Aldi, one more time! As far as the syrup, the homemade version is so much less than the cheap grocery store syrups and of course, it’s a pittance compared to a real Maple syrup. In this recipe the syrup is made to cook the pears in and to drive that pear flavor home.
Epic Pear Almond Granola French Toast
- 8 ounces Mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar, optional
- 4 tablespoons butter plus 4 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- a good pinch of salt
- about 3 cups almond pear granola, crushed, may need more, reserve a little to sprinkle over top
- 1 loaf Italian bread, crust trimmed, cut into 8 generous one-inch slices, then each slice cut into two one & 1/2 inch logs (2 pieces of bread makes 4 logs, and 4 logs is a serving)
- 1 recipe of pears in caramel syrup
Mix the mascarpone and honey in a bowl with a rubber spatula until well combined; do not overmix. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the milk, cream, and eggs in a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Add extract of choice and a pinch of sugar; whisk to combine. Pour the granola onto a cookie sheet or large plate.
Dip 4 logs of bread into the egg mixture and let soak for 1 minute, turning to coat evenly. Let the excess drip off, then place the bread onto the bed of cereal; turn to coat completely, pressing on if necessary. Repeat with the remaining slices. The cereal will probably not completely coat the bread.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When hot, spoon 1 tablespoon of the butter and a tablespoon of oil onto the skillet and use your spatula to mix it together. Place four of the logs onto skillet. Cook until golden on all sides. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Transfer the cooked slices to a rack over a baking sheet, and bake for 4 to 5 minutes. The center of the French toast should remain somewhat soft inside.
Stack 4 logs onto each a serving plate. Add a portion of slice pears to one side. Drizzle with the syrup, top with a dollop of the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle additional granola over the top and pass any remaining syrup.
I’ll be sharing Pear Brown Sugar Caramel Syrup at Fiesta Friday #242, cohosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Jen @ Apply To Face Blog. You’re going to love all the bloggers that share their best recipes of the week at Fiesta Friday but do drop by and see Jhuls & Jen. You’re going to love Jhul’s creative recipes and Jen is going to have you in stitches with a helping of her real-life stories along with each recipe.