Pumpkin French Toast Stuffed with Blackberry-Caramel Mascarpone

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Blackberry-Caramel:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup blackberry puree

2 teaspoons blackberry liqueur

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

French Toast:

4 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 3/4 cups whole milk, plus more if needed

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon dark rum

8 slices day old challah, sliced 1/2-inch thick

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups mascarpone, at room temperature

1 pint blackberries, halved lengthwise

Confectioners' sugar

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions

  1. Blackberry-Caramel:
  2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  3. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat and cook, without stirring, until amber brown, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream, blackberry puree and liqueur and cook until smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Let come to room temperature.
  4. French Toast:
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put a baking sheet in the oven.
  6. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt in a large baking dish until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, ground spices, milk, 1/4 cup of the heavy cream, vanilla and rum and whisk until smooth.
  7. Put 4 slices of the bread in the custard mixture and let sit for 2 minutes. Carefully turn over the slices and let sit until the bread is completely soaked through, about 2 more minutes.
  8. While the bread is soaking, heat 3 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to sizzle. Cook the 4 slices of the bread until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip over and continue cooking until the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Remove to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with paper towels and repeat the process with the butter, oil and remaining 4 pieces of bread.
  9. Combine the mascarpone and remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a bowl and using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat until fluffy and smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and fold in a few tablespoons of the blackberry-caramel sauce. Put the sauce into a small saucepan over low heat and heat or put it in the microwave for a minute or so to just warm through.
  10. Remove the French toast from the oven and arrange them on a serving platter. Top 4 slices of the toast with a large dollop of the blackberry-caramel mascarpone and some of the blackberries. Cover with the remaining 4 pieces of toast and drizzle each with some of the warm blackberry caramel sauce. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, garnish with fresh mint sprig and serve.