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Gingerbread French Toast with Pears

Gingerbread French Toast with Pears on a black plate garnished with a sprig of mint.
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Christmas morning breakfast only happens once a year, so why not make it extra special? Gingerbread French Toast with Pears is just that: special, indulgent, and with all the best flavours of Christmas! Thick slices of buttery brioche are soaked in a spiced custard mixture and fried in a pan. Then this Christmas French Toast is served with caramelised pears and drizzled with spiced pear syrup! Add some toasted nuts and you have yourself the most decadent Christmas morning french toast!

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Christmas French Toast with Pears on a large black plate with scaterred pecan nuts on top.

Ingredients and Substitutions

For Gingerbread French Toast

  • brioche: you will need 1-2 thick slices of brioche loaf per person.
  • eggs: 1 large egg per 2 slices of brioche.
  • milk: can be substituted with single cream for extra decadence!
  • light brown sugar: can be substituted with dark brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave nectar.
  • spices: we used ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. But you can substitute the lot with mixed spice.
  • vanilla bean paste: we love Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean paste. This can be replaced with seeds from a vanilla pod.
  • butter: unsalted butter is best. It will be used for frying the gingerbread french toast.
  • odourless oil: for frying.

For The Caramelised Pears

  • pears: Choose ripe pears that will soften quickly in the pan. They will need to be peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges. Read more about the best pears to use below.
  • light brown sugar: can be substituted with dark brown sugar.
  • a pinch of cinnamon and ginger.

To Serve

  • creme fraiche: can be substituted with sour cream or Greek Yoghurt.
  • toasted nuts: optional but a very welcome addition for extra texture. Choose toasted pecans or flaked almonds for the best results.
Gingerbread french toast ingredients on a wooden chopping board.

What Pears to Use?

For the best results, it is important to choose suitable pears to serve with this Brioche French Toast. Of course, you want ripe pears, but what type is best in this recipe?

  • Try Williams, Anjou or Conference pears in this recipe: they are soft and sweet and soften further in a short amount of time.
  • Avoid Asian pears, as they are too crunchy and are more suitable for eating raw, than cooking.

Method

Make Caramelised Pears

Peel and core the pear. Cut each quarter into 2-4 wedges depending on how large your pears are. Mix brown sugar and spices in a small bowl. Dip each pear wedge into the spiced sugar. Add the pear wedges to a frying pan on medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes turning them halfway. The sugar will melt, pears will soften and release juices into the pan, creating a beautiful sauce. Turn the heat off and leave the caramelised pears in the pan whilst you make your Christmas french toast.

Pears caramelising in the frying pan.

Make Gingerbread French Toast

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla paste and spices together.

Arrange the brioche slices in a shallow dish and pour the egg mixture over them. Shuffle the brioche around and gently flip them over so that they are fully covered. Leave them to soak for a minute or so.

Brioche slices soaking in the spiced milk and egg mixture.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Once hot and starting to bubble, lift the brioche slices out of the soaking mixture and into the pan. Fry for 2 minutes without touching the brioche (the slices will need time to firm up, so if you try to move them, they will lose shape and will look all mangled). Carefully flip the brioche sliced over and fry for another 2 minutes until caramelised.

Gingerbread french toast frying in the pan.

Serving

Arrange two slices of brioche French toast on each plate. Add six pear wedges on top and drizzle with the caramel from the pear pan. Spoon a dollop of creme fraiche on the side and scatter toasted nuts on top!

Christmas French toast is ready to eat on a large black plate.

Tips and Tricks for The Best Brioche French Toast

  • If you have the time, make the egg and milk mixture the night before and chill it in the fridge overnight. The milk will infuse with the flavours of the spices resulting in extra tasty brioche French Toast.
  • Do not use fresh brioche. Take it out of the packet the night before and leave it to go slightly stale.
  • Slice the brioche into thick slices. You want them about 2 cm (3/4 in), any thinner and they will be too flimsy after soaking in milk and eggs and hard to flip over in the pan.
Thick slices of brioche being cut with a knife on a chopping board.
  • Be very gentle when handling soaked brioche. Lift it into a frying pan supporting the slice from underneath. Also, be careful when flipping it over in the pan.
  • Don’t overcrowd the frying pan. Use two pans, if you don’t have one that’s big enough to fit all the slices with gaps in between.

Christmas French Toast Variations

  • Skip the pears and serve this Christmas French Toast with Salted Honey Caramel.
  • Use stale white bread instead of brioche.
  • Experiment with fruit or berries that you serve with this Gingerbread French Toast: apples, bananas and plums work very well.
  • Add cardamom to your caramelised pears.

Recipe FAQs

What Can I Use Instead of Brioche?

Substitute Brioche with everyday sliced white bread (ideally thick cut) or sourdough slices. Another alternative that works really well in this recipe is Japanese-style milk bread!

What Other Fruit Goes Well With Gingerbread French Toast?

Gingerbread French Toast is absolutely lovely with spiced caramelised plums, apples or even bananas!

Other Ideas For Christmas Breakfast

If Gingerbread French Toast doesn’t float your boat, why not try one of our other festive Christmas Breakfast ideas:

Recipe Card

Gingerbread French Toast with Pears on a black plate garnished with a sprig of mint.

Gingerbread French Toast with Caramelised Pears

Christmas morning breakfast only happens once a year, so why not make it extra special? Gingerbread French Toast with Pears is just that: special, indulgent, and with all the best flavours of Christmas! Thick slices of buttery brioche are soaked in a spiced custard mixture and fried in a pan. Then this Christmas French Toast is served with caramelised pears and drizzled with spiced pear syrup! Add some toasted nuts and you have yourself the most decadent Christmas morning french toast!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Christmas, French
Servings 2 portions
Calories 501 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For French Toast:

  • 4 thick slices of brioche
  • 2 eggs large
  • 90 ml milk
  • 1 level tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 20 g butter for frying
  • 1 tbsp odourless oil

For Caramelised Pears:

  • 2 pears peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • 20 g light brown sugar
  • a pinch of cinnamon and ginger

To Serve:

  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • toasted nuts optional

Instructions
 

Make Caramelised Pears:

  • Peel and core the pear. Cut each quarter into 2-4 wedges depending on how large your pears are. Mix brown sugar and spices in a small bowl. Dip each pear wedge into the spiced sugar. Add the pear wedges to a frying pan on medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes turning them halfway. The sugar will melt, pears will soften and release juices into the pan, creating a beautiful sauce. Turn the heat off and leave the caramelised pears in the pan whilst you make your Christmas french toast.

Make Gingerbread French Toast:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla paste and spices together.
  • Arrange the brioche slices in a shallow dish and pour the egg mixture over. Shuffle the brioche around and gently flip them over so that they are fully covered. Leave them to soak for a minute or so.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Once hot and starting to bubble, lift the brioche slices out of the soaking mixture and into the pan. Fry for 2 minutes without touching the brioche (the slices will need time to firm up, so if you try to move them, they will lose shape and will look all mangled). Carefully flip the brioche sliced over and fry for another 2 minutes until caramelised.

Serve:

  • Arrange two slices of brioche French toast on each plate. Add pear wedges on top and drizzle with the caramel from the pear pan. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on the side and scatter toasted nuts on top!

Nutrition

Calories: 501kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 9gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 232mgSodium: 305mgPotassium: 340mgFiber: 3gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 1136IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 156mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Brioche French Toast, Caramelised Pear French Toast, Caramelised Pears, Christmas French Toast, French Toast With Pears, Gingerbread French Toast
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2 Replies to “Gingerbread French Toast with Pears”

  1. 5 stars
    We made this for boxing day breakfast and it was delicious! We left sugar out of the egg mixture as our pears were super sweet and we found it sweet enough with the caramel sauce.
    Will definitely be making again, it was so easy!

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