Pumpkin is a delicious ingredient to use any time of year, but it is especially enjoyable during fall and winter. The bright orange fruit, commonly referred to as a vegetable, and aromatic spices make mealtime cozy and welcoming regardless of the weather outside. In honor of National Pumpkin Day, October 26, Chef Donna Desfor graciously shared her delicious recipe for Pumpkin Custard French Toast.
Unlike last year, canned pumpkin is readily available in stores. Be sure to buy canned pumpkin puree, not canned pumpkin pie filling. The price is typically under $2, but most stores only stock one or two brands. Finding organic pumpkin puree may require visiting a specialty retailer, such as Whole Foods Market, or roasting a pumpkin at home.
This fluffy, flavorful French toast makes a beautiful presentation, but preparation is a breeze. The special ingredient, Zaya Rum, adds a little something extra to this recipe. Try it for a decadent brunch or memorable breakfast.
Pumpkin Custard French Toast Recipe
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 14.5-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (organic preferred)
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons Zaya Gran Reserva rum
1 loaf day-old French baguette or crusty Italian bread, sliced about 1-inch thick
Butter, for pan
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment combine the milk, cream, pumpkin, sugar, eggs and yolks, spices and Zaya Rum, if using. Whisk on low speed until mixture comes together. Whisk on medium speed until fully combined.
Place the sliced bread into the pumpkin mixture and let soak for about 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of butter.
Carefully remove the bread from the soaking mixture and place it on the warm skillet. Repeat with remaining bread. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes until the underside of the bread is golden brown and firm. Carefully flip the bread over and continue cooking until the bread is cooked through, about 3 or 4 minutes more. Remove to a warm platter and continue with the rest of the bread, soaking and cooking until the bread is used up.
Serve on a warmed plate or platter. Garnish with baked apples or a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.
My Pumpkin Custard French Toast Recipe Tips
If possible, purchase day-old bread from the bakery. It costs less and is perfect for homemade French toast.
Substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you do not have all the required spices.
As necessary, add a light coating of butter to the pan to prevent sticking.
Do not rush the cooking process. The thick bread and heavy coating need to cook longer than plain French toast.
Pumpkin Custard French Toast goes with a variety of toppers. Try a light drizzle of warm caramel sauce for a decadent treat. Maple syrup and toasted pecans are another tasty option.
More from Chef Desfor
A fixture on Pennsylvania’s public television, Chef Desfor also hosts a weekly cooking segment on Fox 43 news. For more recipes and cooking tips, view her food column online at WITF.org.