It’s like French toast, but with an Easter twist.
This recipe, in my humble opinion, is a keeper. It’s simple to prepare, contains a handful of ingredients and fills the house with the most delicious smell of caramel and spice. And once plated, it makes for an impressive breakfast. It’s a wonderful way to use up stale hot cross buns, pushed to the back of the pantry and trumped by the more alluring, chocolatey offerings of the Easter bunny. When hot cross buns are no longer “in season” use slices of bread in their place and add a stick of cinnamon to the frying pan when cooking the pears.
Happy Easter all!
RECIPE: HOT CROSS BUN TOAST WITH MAPLE PEARS
- 3 eggs
- 200ml milk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 hot cross buns, cut in half horizontally
- 4 pears
- 100g butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 orange
- mascarpone and orange zest (optional) to serve
Put the eggs and milk into a dish large enough to fit all the hot cross buns in one layer (I used a baking dish, the kind you’d use for lasagne). Whisk until combined. Put the hot cross buns into the dish cut-side down and leave to soak up the mixture while you prepare the pears. I flipped the hot cross buns over a few times as I went.
Halve the pears lengthways and then core (I used a melon baller which always looks satisfyingly uniform!). Place the pears cut-side down on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut them into slices, stopping short of the top of the pear so that it holds together but can be fanned out once cooked.
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan heat 50g butter over medium heat. Once bubbling, arrange the hot cross buns in the pan and cook, turning as you go until they’re golden brown on both sides. This will take about 10 minutes or so. Once browned, remove from the heat and put the frying pan in a warm oven while you finish off the pears.
While the hot cross buns are frying, heat the remaining 50g butter in another heavy-bottomed frying pan. When melted add the maple syrup and vanilla paste and using a wooden spoon, mix together to incorporate. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips from the orange into the pan, stir, then arrange the pears on top cut-side down and fry until golden brown and soft. This will take about 20 minutes. Flip them over as you fry them so that the bottoms also get a bit of cooking.
To serve, divide the hot cross buns between 4 plates, top with a generous dollop of mascarpone and arrange 2 pear halves on top of each. Scoop out the caramel from the frying pan with the pears and drizzle over each plate. I scattered mine with a bit of orange zest. Chopped dark chocolate would also be delicious.
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