French toasts – pain perdu – is definitely part of my breakfast, brunch & afternoon snacks favorite – ok this kind of sound like an all time favorite, I admit! This recipe is such an easy one and traditionally consists of soaking thick bread slices dipped into an egg and milk preparation, then panfried with butter, sugar and lightly spiced. Who could resist such a perfectly crunchy and slightly gooey recipe, so warming and comforting. It just reminds me so much of childhood winter nights when I used to have French toasts very often. Today’s recipe is a much lighter version of the French toast than the original recipe and is just as good, along gorgeous and juicy roasted apricots!
Whenever I eat out, you can be sure I’ll have a French toast if there’s one on the menu. I think it might even be part of my major cravings, especially that it’s very much versatile and goes with approximately everything you would dream of. During winter, I like it best with cinnamon, nutmeg, well a little spiced up and sometimes adding melted dark chocolate over it, this is to die for. In summer, I feel like it’s slightly trickier to find a great recipe, particularly when it’s as warm as the past days have been. So, when the French toast craving hit me a few days ago, I saw those gorgeous apricots on the kitchen counter, I just found THE summer French toast recipe idea!
For this version, I choose to make it with almond milk which makes it much lighter than cow milk, a very good option if you aim to avoid the food coma after eating. I also looked for an egg replacer which would replicate the custardy texture that’s required so the bread won’t fall apart when you panfry it.
French toast in French is called “pain perdu” which means “lost bread” because this recipe is perfect to use up leftover bread that’s starting to dry out. So with this consideration in mind, you can easily imagine that you should rather make the recipe with at least a day old bread loaf. Regarding the type, I would suggest not to use a white flour bread but rather a whole wheat one which has a higher nutritional value, it will also taste much nicer. Here, I used a classic whole wheat bread that’s called intégral which is dense enough to keep its shape.
I topped up the French toasts with roasted apricots, thyme and a drizzle of honey. These are such a great fit as they are super juicy and lightly acidic which will reveal all the flavours. Finally, added a little bit of mint for the freshness and silvered almonds! Well, it did taste like summer!
RECIPE 1 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Chill time: 20 minutes
You will need:
- 3 slices whole wheat bread (1.5 cm thick)
- 100 ml almond milk (variable)
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 10g cane or coconut sugar
- 5g butter // vegan: 1 tsp neutral oil
- 2 apricots
- Drop of water
- Drizzle of honey // vegan: drizzle maple sirup or no sweetener
- Slivered almonds
- 2-3 fresh mint leaves
- Maple sirup (optional)
Using a food processor, mix the chia seeds on a high speed until you obtain a fine powder.
In a plate, place the chia powder and pour the almond milk, mix it together before placing the bread slices in it. Soak the bread slices in it on both sides. If there’s no more liquid, add a little more almond milk. Let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes switching the slice’s side halfway through.
Cut the apricots in halves or fourth while the break is soaking.
When the 20 minutes are up, heat up a pan on a medium heat with the butter (oil if vegan). Panfry the slices for a few minutes on each side until they get a little golden. Then sprinkle half of the coconut or cane sugar on the up side and flip it, sprinkle the other side and flip again regularly until the bread is golden brown on both sides. When done take the bread slices out.
In the same pan, place the apricot segments in the pan still over a medium heat, add the thyme and honey drizzle (maple or none if vegan). Let the apricots cook for a minute or two until you see they are turning golden.
Add a drop of water in the pan and cover up for two minutes.
Finally, stack the bread slices, place the roasted apricots and silvered almonds in the place. Top up with thinly cut fresh mint and some more maple sirup if you’d like an extra sweetness !