One of the best things about being a “foodie” is that when people go on trips they bring you back local food treasures.
Earlier in the month, one of our friends dropped their oldest son off in Vermont for his freshman year in college. Guess what they brought back for me? Trout? Dilly Beans? Venison? (In case you didn’t know, these are popular foods in Vermont) Did you guess Maple Syrup? Then you would be correct!! Give yourself a round of applause.
Vermont produces the most maple syrup in the entire Untied States of America so I could only assume it was going to be terrific tasting! (If you were assigned Vermont as “your state” in grade school you already knew this fun fact.)
I was laughing really hard when I started reading the history of maple syrup. (Okay maybe I didn’t laugh but I did chuckle to myself.) The information I found said, “maple syrup was first collected by the “indigenous” people of North America”. All I could think of is the old National Geographic magazines with the “indigenous” nudity and how sticky these people must have gotten on their bathing suit parts. (Note: my humor resembles that of an eighth grade boy most of the time. )
Over the years, technology (they wear clothes) helped increase the production and now Quebec, Canada is the highest producer of maple syrup in the World! Fun facts aside, the minute I found out that I was receiving some fresh maple syrup, I started craving French toast. Not just any French toast but stuffed French toast. It really is a simple way to prepare the classic most of us grew up eating.
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup favorite jam or jelly
- 1 Tbsp (plus a little extra for garnish) powdered sugar
- 12 pieces of bread without the crusts (I use what is in the pantry getting stale)
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Maple Syrup (if you don’t have any from Vermont, I won’t judge you)
- In a small bowl, whip up mascarpone cheese with ½ Tbsp of powder sugar. Taste it for sweetness. If your jam is super sweet, go easy on the sugar. If your jam is a little tarter, make it a little sweeter.
- Pretend you are making a sandwich; on one of the bread add some jelly. On the other side of your bread, add your mascarpone cheese mixture. (Do not “glop” it on. Spread it nicely but not too thick.)
- Put the jelly side together with the cheese side and “sandwich” them together and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining bread slices.
- In a separate pie plate, beat eggs, milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
- Heat your griddle pan over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter.
- Dip your “sandwich” quickly into the batter and place on your griddle. Don’t SOAK your bread. A quick dip coating both sides will be enough. Also, do not crowd your pan. Give the toast a little breathing room
- Cook until golden brown and flip and repeat. Keep warm and
- Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and maybe a little extra jam or jelly.
Stuffed French toast has become one of my favorite special weekend morning meals because it tastes really decadent but it is simple to make. It combines everything you love about French toast and then adds a couple more components of flavor like the tang of cheese and the fruitiness of your favorite jam or jelly.
I have trouble-finding mascarpone in our small town, so I buy cream cheese and whip it up with my hand blender with a splash or two of heavy whipping cream. I probably wouldn’t recommend this technique in more complicated recipes but for this recipe, it works perfectly.
My personal favorite type of stuffed French toast is simply spread with a little mascarpone cheese and some of my favorite jelly. You can go bananas, literally, and add fruit slices, chocolate chips, or nuts. (If had dated Elvis, I would have made a peanut butter and banana stuffed French toast. But he is on “vacation” in Vermont.)