Thick-cut challah bread with triple berry jam. Apples baked with brown sugar and cinnamon topped with Cinnamon-Pear sauce. Upside down French Toast with Strawberry-Vanilla Jam for dipping. Buckwheat waffles with organic, local homemade blueberry syrup (rhubarb for the friend who takes umbrage with berries). Feel free to stop by.
Easy Upside Down French Toast
1 vanilla bean
3 cups milk
3/4 stick of butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
12 pieces of crusty bread (French baguette works best, though any leftover thick bread is fine)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1. Split the vanilla bean, scrape it into the milk, and let the bean bathe.
2. Melt the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan on low heat. Pour into the bottom of a heavy-bottomed baking dish (9 x 13). Place bread on top.
3. Discard the vanilla bean pod from the milk. Mix milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt, and pour over the bread. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Dust top with nutmeg. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes, then 350 for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the pan over, inverting onto a tray, and serve. If you don’t have a tray or platter, let people serve themselves from the pan.
Note: For Apple Upside Down French Toast: If you have fresh fall apples, peel and slice six Granny Smiths or other tart apples, sauté them in a bit of the butter without letting them brown. Continue on with the rest of the directions, melting the rest of the butter, sugar, and spices, and using the apple layer as the bottom before the bread.