I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks the strawberries this season are nothing short of amazing. We went picking last weekend and judging solely by the fact that we could smell the strawberries on the “Berry Ferry” ride to the fields, I knew we were in for a great season. Eight pounds later (and absolutely none left today), I was portioning them out for various recipes I had in mind. Unfortunately, we ate so many of them on their own that I didn’t get to make everything I had on that list. But lucky for you guys, we did make this strawberry-stuffed French toast. And it was, like the strawberries themselves, nothing short of amazing. You’ll macerate the berries, mix them with some cream cheese, then stuff the mixture inside thick slices of bread. The rest is left up to the French toast gods, therefore ensuring perfection in a buttered skillet. I’m not ashamed to admit that we ate this for dinner one night this week and even though it’s obvious to serve it for breakfast (hello stuffed with strawberries and blueberries for the 4th of July!), I wouldn’t hesitate to serve it for dessert either. Go get your strawberries and don’t waste another second before you make this French toast!
For the filling:
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
For the French toast:
- 4 thick slices bread, such as challah, soft Italian bread, or white bread
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (for the skillet)
Whipped cream and additional sliced strawberries for garnish
- To make the filling, stir the sliced strawberries and sugar together in a medium bowl. Set the bowl aside for 15 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices (macerate), stirring occasionally. Soften the cream cheese for 20 seconds in the microwave and stir it into the strawberries until well blended.
- To make the French toast, hollow out a hole in the center of each slice of bread about 1 1/2 inches wide by 3/4 inch high. The hole should be almost the entire length of the bread – do not cut all the way through to the other side. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, whisk together the egg and milk. Whisk in the melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the flour, cinnamon and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Fill the hole of each slice of bread with some of the filling mixture, dividing it evenly between all of the bread. One or two at a time, place the filled slices of bread in the egg mixture, soaking about 30-40 seconds per side. Remove the bread and allow the excess batter to drip off. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining bread slices.
- Add the butter to the heated skillet and swirl to coat. Once the butter is bubbly, add the filled slices of toast to the skillet in a single layer. Cook until light golden brown and crisp, about 1-2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread, adding more butter to the skillet as needed. Serve hot with freshly whipped cream and fresh strawberries as desired.