Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries
About the recipe
For crispier French toast, use day-old bread or leave the sliced bread on the counter overnight to become stale.
Hands On Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Strawberry Sauce and Filling
1 1/2 cups quartered and hulled strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup half and half
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 loaf challah bread, cut into one-inch-thick slices
Melted butter, for the griddle
Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
To make the sauce: Combine 1 cup of the strawberries with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
To make the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the lemon zest and remaining sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. With a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining strawberries.
To make the French toast: Heat an electric griddle over medium heat. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the half and half, eggs and cinnamon until smooth. Fully submerge the bread slices in the egg mixture, then transfer to the wire rack to drain for 3 to 5 minutes.
Brush the hot griddle with melted butter. In batches, place the bread on griddle and cook until golden brown and crisp on the first side, about 5 minutes. Flip and toast for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread until all slices have been cooked.
For each serving, spread 1/4 cup filling on one slice of French toast. Top with a second slice and press down gently. Cut in half and top with 1/2 cup of strawberry sauce. Serve with maple syrup if desired.