This french toast recipe is festive and super easy to prepare. Thanks to a homemade, honey-kissed strawberry syrup that heralds the arrival of spring berries, it’s also definitely a crowd-pleaser for kids.
I used brioche, a light and buttery French bread that tastes like a cross between a croissant and a bread. But you can also use challah or plain old white bread. It is gently drizzled with a creamy mixture of mascarpone and diced fresh strawberries, then dipped in a foamy batter of egg and milk with a touch of cinnamon before turning golden brown in a frying pan.
I paired the toast with the Homemade Pork Sausage Breakfast Patties, which can be made a day ahead if you want to speed up preparation.
If you use pre-sliced bread that’s too thin for stuffing, no worries: Simply double the amount of bread and spread the filling between two slices like a sandwich.
Strawberry Stuffed French Toast with Homemade Sausage
For Strawberry Topping:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 pound plus 3 large fresh strawberries, washed and chopped, divided
For French Toast:
- 8 thick slices brioche, preferably day old
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk plus 1 tsp, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- pinch of salt
- pinch cinnamon, optional
- butter for pan
For the Sausage Patties:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon each minced fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- big pinch salt
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Prepare Strawberry Topping: In a large pan, melt butter and honey over medium heat until evenly melted. Add 1 pound strawberries and cook until heated through, crushing each time with a fork, and berries are broken down into sauce, about 10 minutes. Taste; If it doesn’t seem sweet enough, add some sugar. Reduce heat, and keep warm until ready to serve.
Prepare Sausage: In large bowl, mix ground pork with spices with your hands until well combined. Divide pork mixture into 8 equal-sized balls. With moist hands, gently press balls into uniform patties. With your thumb, slightly press down the center of each patty, pushing excess flesh toward the edges. (This will help the patties cook flat instead of puffed up.) Set aside in the fridge until ready to cook.
Prepare French Toast: Cut a horizontal slit about 2 inches long in the bottom of each bread slice to create a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through to the top.
In a medium bowl, whisk together softened mascarpone with remaining 3 sliced strawberries, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon milk. It should be smooth and creamy.
Transfer cheese mixture to a pastry bag or a zip-top bag with one corner cut out. Working one piece at a time, place the end of the bag into the slit in the bread slice and fill the bread with about 1 Tbsp cream cheese, then gently smooth it inside the pocket with your fingers. Repeat with remaining slices, then set aside while sausage cooks.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage patties for 2 minutes on each side or until browned and crispy and cooked through. When making French toast, keep aside and cover with foil.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, remaining sugar, salt, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Coat a non-stick skillet with a thin layer of butter. Keep it on medium-low flame till the butter starts foaming.
Dip the bread slices, one by one, into the egg mixture, allowing each side to absorb some of the mixture. Place the coated slices directly into the hot pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes, then turn over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise the toast will stick together.
Transfer to plate and keep warm while repeating with remaining bread, adding more butter to pan as needed.
Serve with Strawberry Topping and Breakfast Sausage Patty.