Ezekiel Bread French Toast with Caramelized Nectarine and Apple-Cranberry Syrup

The morning before last as I was pouring my second cup of coffee I heard a common request from my teenage son in the next room, "dad, will you make me breakfast" (translation: will you make me French toast...his favorite breakfast). Having not gone shopping in a while I knew the cupboards were somewhat bare but not entirely, so I said yes straight away. After slicing a few pieces of Ezekiel bread (click here and here for recipes) and soaking them in eggs and milk I looked for the maple syrup only to find none. Ditto on honey; and not even a few grains of sugar. We were, in fact, having a sweetness crises. Not to worry I thought, as I poured my third cup of coffee, pushed my two pugs out of way as they hovered under foot, and answered "In a couple minutes," to my son's inquiry as to how long before it were ready. I looked in the fridge and saw we had a partial half-gallon of cranberry-apple juice. Ahhh...sweetness, I said aloud. As any cook knows (lay or professional), when you reduce something (simmer it down), and as it gets less in volume, flavors intensify. If, for example, you left a soup on the edge of the stove to simmer too long it may become salty, and in the case of fruit juices--which are naturally sweet already--they become super sweet and viscous when cooked down...in short, a syrup. To add to the flavor I also included a slightly under-rip nectarine to the pan (being under-ripe it held up nicely to the cooking, but softened and sweetened as it cooked. As my son ate and I checked my email and drank coffee, he stopped momentarily and said, "Dad...this is really good." That to me meant more than any kudos or accolades I may receive from the many paying customers I cook for almost every day. OK, they are not all kudos and accolades, but on this morning I felt awarded in a way I cannot describe. Anyhow, here it is in pictures.


Steve! said…
Joe that looks so delicious. Tcc employee lunch candidate.