This year my company gave us Christmas Eve as a holiday. My husband also had the day off too. We decided to spend the day at home playing games, relaxing and just spending time together. We are lucky to have lots of family gatherings around the holidays so we knew that the entire Christmas weekend would be jam packed full of activity. It was nice to have a day to ourselves.
Since we were staying home I wanted to make a special breakfast. I decided on pumpkin french toast after searching the web and finding this recipe at Post Punk Kitchen. I absolutely love anything pumpkin and I love french toast so it sounded like a winner. This is actually a vegan recipe and I thought it would be interesting to try to make french toast without eggs.
Pumpkin French Toast
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk like soy or rice)
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 stale baguette, sliced into 1 inch pieces
Cooking oil for pan
Mix together all ingredients except bread and cooking oil. Spread out bread slices in a single layer on a rimmed pan (I used a jelly roll pan). Pour on pumpkin mixture and flip to coat. Let sit for 20 minutes, then flip over and soak for 10 more minutes.
Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil or pour a little into the pan and cook the soaked bread slices in batches for 5-7 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. They should be golden to medium brown and flecked with dark spots. Serve with Earth Balance butter (if going completely vegan) and warm maple syrup.
My take on it: Instead of using pumpkin puree from a can (which I normally do for pumpkin recipes) I used our homemade pumpkin puree that we made last fall from the pumpkins we grew. It had been in the freezer for awhile and this was its debut appearance. I also used soy milk instead of almond milk.
Everything about this recipe was going fine until I got to the cooking part. In the original recipe, the poster says she uses a cast iron skillet so I thought I would do the same. That was a mistake. The bread just stuck to the skillet and never seemed to cook no matter how much oil I used. I finally gave up on the cast iron and switched to non-stick. Once I did that the cooking part went much smoother. However even after cooking, the bread was mushy in the middle. It didn’t want to cook all the way through. I think it was because the bread I used wasn’t very stale at all. It was too soft.
In the end we both liked the recipe enough to try it again. We ate all 8 pieces, mushy middles and all. The flavor was great and it was pretty easy to make, though it takes longer than regular french toast due to the soaking time. I want to try making this again with older bread to see if that helps the mushiness.
I also wonder if this recipe would be good baked in the oven instead of cooked on the stove. Like french toast casserole or bread pudding. I wonder if it would set without the eggs. There was a lot of soaking liquid leftover so you might have to reduce the milk a smidge, or maybe let it soak overnight.
Bottom Line: I will make this again.