This morning I made Challah French Toast from Ina's, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 187. We are members of a local CSA, and Challah came as the baked item in the basket this week. When I saw it, I immediately thought of this recipe which I have made in the past. It is the pictured on the front of the cookbook.
I only made two minor changes in the recipe, and that was out of necessity, but at least one thing seemed to enhance the recipe. The first change that I made was to replace the the half and half or milk with heavy cream. This is because I purchased a large container of Organic Heavy Cream at Costco last week to use in making the Shrimp and Corn Chowder. I went for the large container because it was less than the price of a small container of non organic heavy cream at the local grocery. One thing you will learn about me as you peruse my entries here is that I am cheap. Excuse me I guess my friends would say I am frugal and would chastise me for saying I am cheap. The other change that I made was to use the zest of a clementine instead of a navel orange (which is what I have used in the past). The clementine zest seemed to be a bit more pungent than the navel orange zest had been when I used it in the past. It was nice, because it really cut through the richness of the custardy french toast and the sweetness of the maple syrup. A note on maple syrup...I use organic grade b maple syrup (I usually have to go to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods to get this), because I like the depth of flavor. Just please if you are going to make your family wonderful from scratch french toast, don't ruin it with maple flavored syrup.
So here is the picture of our finished product. It isn't as pretty as Ina's, but we didn't make 5 batches so that a food stylist could pull the prettiest ones and stack them perfectly on a beautiful platter. This is what real food looks like, and it was delicious. I hope you will try it some time soon.