French Toast With Poached Pears and Currant Glaze

French Bread with Poached Pears
French Bread with Poached Pears

Even though my poached pear tart didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it, I was reminded how much I really enjoyed poached pears.

So I decided to poach a couple of my pears, one I served as a side topping to french toast with a late Sunday breakfast, the other I saved for dessert with ice cream.

For the bread for the french toast, I sliced up the remainder of a baguette I had with dinner the night before and had dried out in the oven at 200 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.

The poached pear turned out wonderfully, though it could have stood a little additional cinnamon. Same for the toast, and the glaze would do well with the addition of a little brandy while cooking. But here are the combination of ingredients I used:

Poached Pear

2 pears (I used Comice, but Bosc would also work well)
1/4 of a vanilla bean (I was being frugal, but I don’t know that you really need much more)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white wine (I used a fumé blanc for sweetness)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
dash nutmeg

Dissolve sugar in water and wine in a small saucepan. Add spices and simmer for 10 minutes to bring out the spice flavors. Peel, halve and core pears. Turn stove to low and add pears. Cook on a low simmer for about 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the pear goes through easily. Remove pears to a rack and drain. Reserve syrup for storing or further cooking.

Currant Glaze
(taken from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”)

1/4 cup syrup from poached pears
1/4 cup currant jelly

Rapidly boil down the syrup to the thread stage (230 degrees). Measure out 1/4 cup of the syrup and simmer it with the red currant jelly until jelly has dissolved and the syrup coats the spoon with a light glaze.

French Toast with Poached Pears

1/2 a baguette, sliced into 1-inch slices, dried
3 eggs
1/2 Tbs apple brandy
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs butter

Lightly beat eggs, add remaining ingredients. Soak bread slices, turning over frequently until soft. Heat butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Brown both sides of toast and plate. Slice half of poached pear and arrange over toast. Drizzle with currant glaze.