Orange French Toast with Homemade Creme Fraiche
Remember that Challah bread I made not too long ago? Well, one of those loaves went into the freezer. I pulled it out the night before I was going to use it for breakfast and placed it in between a kitchen towel until it was thawed out. I rewrapped the bread in some plastic wrap and there it laid waiting for its orange bath and hot rock spa treatment the next morning. The Challah bread is not dairy free. The custard for this French toast is dairy free. It's also sweet without any added sugar and flavorful from the fresh squeezed orange. Feel free to use a dairy free, gluten free or any other bread of your desires for this French toast.
The Challah bread French toast was served with homemade crème fraîche and fresh berries. I have included the directions for making your own crème fraîche. Store bought crème fraîche is super expensive, but very easy to make. I normally have buttermilk and cream on hand in the fridge and that’s all you need to make homemade crème fraîche.
Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream and is interchangeable in most dishes. Crème fraîche has a higher fat content and a richer texture than sour cream. Store bought sour cream is thick because of the added enzymes manufacturers use to stabilize it. Since crème fraîche is a specialty item at a grocery store, the price goes up. So do it your self and add this tasty goodness to any dish you would normally use sour cream.
CHALLAH BREAD ORANGE FRECH TOAST:
8 thick slices of Challah bread
Zest of 2 oranges
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice, about 7 small oranges
6 whole eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Slice the bread and set aside. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the zest, juice, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
Heat up your favorite French toast making pan. I like a solid cast iron pan myself. Add the lubrication of your choice; butter, Crisco or non stick spray.
Soak each side of Challah bread in the orange custard for about a minute. Carefully place a few pieces of soaked Challah bread to the sizzling hot pan. When the under side has been nicely browned, flip the Challah. Continue the process until all the orange custard has been used up.
Dust the French toast with powdered sugar, a dollop of crème fraîche and some fresh berries. Dig In!
PREPARATION TIP:Any leftover French toast can easily be frozen for a quick weekday breakfast. Simply let the left over French toast cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag. Label the freezer bag with the contents and date. When you are ready to eat your frozen French toast, pop some in the microwave for about a minute.
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons of buttermilk
Mix together the buttermilk and heavy cream in a non reactive bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for up to 24-36 hours. Seriously!
The addition of buttermilk acts as a bacteria starter to ferment the cream. According to my research, historically crème fraîche was made from cow’s milk that was left out to ferment. The naturally occurring bacteria would make it thick and sour. The pasteurization of milk/cream has killed off the cream's ability to mature on its own as it would have before the days of refrigeration.
Your crème fraîche is ready when the mixture is thick. The amount of time it takes for your crème fraîche to thicken depends on how warm or cold your home is. Crème fraîche made during the Winter time may take longer than when it is made during the Summer.
Once thick, transfer to a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for up to 10 days. Refrigeration will extend the shelf life of your crème fraîche.
Remember, whatever recipe you use with sour cream, you can use crème fraîche in its place. Especially if you are making sauces or soups, crème fraîche won’t curdle like sour cream when added to hot stuff.