French toast with nectarines and cinnamon sugar

French toast with nectarines and cinnamon sugar

Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

Making French toast, otherwise known as pain perdu, is one of my favourite things to do with stale bread. There are many different ways to cook French toast but my method is to not cook it too long in the pan as I want it crispy on the outside but to have a gooey, custardy centre. However, you can cook it a little longer and the interior will firm up. This is delicious with any fruit or just with maple syrup.


Quantity Ingredient
6-8 nectarines, cut into sixths, skin left on
50g caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
20g butter
1 cinammon stick
2 teaspoons verjuice
or 1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
250ml milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
50ml sherry
5 eggs
4 thick slices brioche or good-quality white bread
125g clarified butter

Cinnamon sugar

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons panela sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. In a bowl, toss the nectarines with the extra 1 tablespoon caster sugar.
  3. In a heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the nectarines, cinnamon stick and verjuice. Give the pan a shake to combine the ingredients, then pop the pan in the oven to cook for 10 minutes, turning the nectarines occasionally until a caramel forms. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. For the cinnamon sugar, mix the panela sugar with the cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium–low heat, simmer the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds and half the caster sugar. Stir in the sherry and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool, then strain into a container.
  6. Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. While whisking, add the milk mixture to combine. Soak the brioche or bread slices, fully submerged, in the milk mixture for 5 minutes.
  7. Warm a little of the clarified butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the soaked bread until brown on both sides. Remove from the pan. The bread should be crispy on both sides but still a little gooey in the middle. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and serve with the nectarines.


  • Panela or rapadura sugar is a raw, unprocessed sugar that retains all the natural benefits of sugarcane. Other sugars to use in place of panela would be dark brown sugar, coconut sugar or any other raw, unprocessed sugars you may find.

Medicinal Benefit

  • The vitamin C in nectarines boosts your immune system. It also helps make collagen that in turn helps heal wounds and give support to blood vessels. Nectarines contain vitamin A, essential for good vision and bone growth, and vitamin E, which does wonders for overall immunity. It’s also great for skin and hair.
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