‘Whatever You’ve Got’ French Toast

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If there’s one thing you’ve almost definitely got left over after festivities, it’s bread. Whether that’s hi-tin, brioche, challah, or just a sandwich loaf, you can make use of it all in a classic French toast. And the best part is, that you can also put that bottomless jug of custard in there too.


1 loaf of bread (brioche, challah, hi-tin… whatever’s left in the bread basket really!)


2 cups’ worth of runny custard OR


6 eggs
1 cup (250 ml) milk
50 ml pouring cream (see tips)
½ teaspoon salt flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons neutral – flavoured oil (I like grapeseed oil)


To serve

Icing sugar, for dusting

Maple syrup, for drizzling

Salt flakes, for sprinkling

Zest of 1 orange (optional)


Cut your bread into thick slices.


In a bowl big enough for soaking your slices in, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, salt and vanilla together – or just pour in the leftover custard, and then whisk in enough milk to make up two generous cups’ worth with the consistency of pouring cream.


Lay your bread slices in the eggy mixture for 8-10 minutes, carefully flipping them over after 5 minutes.


Heat a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat, then splash in a tablespoon of oil. Working in batches, fry your French toast for 3-4 minutes, until the underbelly turns a glorious shade of golden brown, then carefully flip them over with a spatula to cook the other side.


Fry the remaining slices in the same way, adding more butter and oil to the pan each time.


Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, drizzled with maple syrup, sprinkled with salt flakes and maybe some orange zest. Feel free to top with the squashy berry compote below.


If you don’t have pouring cream, but some other kind of cream is sitting in your fridge (everything from double to crème fraiche or sour cream!), then use that and add extra milk to make up the viscosity.


End of the jar jam & Squashy berry compote


Cherries, pitted
Jam jar dregs


Splash a little hot water into the jam jar and slosh it around. Combine berries with the jam dregs and water in a small pot. Bring to the boil then switch off. Serve warm or cold with the French toast, on top of yoghurt or with ice cream.

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