6 servings

One of the many good things about French toast is that it's best when made with stale bread. This means that one-day-old bread is good, and two-day-old bread is better! Choose French or Italian bread, sourdough, semolina bread, brioche or challah. All are terrific. If you use a baguette of French bread, you will probably want three slices per person; if you use a larger loaf, two slices per serving will do. The bread is cooked in a orange and egg batter and served with a fresh citrus compote.

French Toast:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 12 to 18 slices stale bread (depending on type used), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices

Citrus Compote:

  • 4 medium oranges, peeled
  • 2 medium grapefruits, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, for cooking
1. To prepare the French toast, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Grand Marnier, sugar, salt, milk, vanilla and orange juice.

2. Lay the bread slices in a large shallow dish. Pour the egg mixture over the slices and turn them a few times so that they absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3. To make the compote,holding the oranges and then the grapefruit over a large glass or ceramic bowl to catch their juices, divide them into segments. Cut the orange and grapefruit segments into 1-inch pieces.

4. Mix together the orange juice, Grand Marnier, and sugar. Pour over the fruit and juices then toss. Set aside while cooking the French toast.

5. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-liw heat. Cook the soaked bread slices in batches for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, adding more butter as necessary. A severla slices are cooked, set them on a heatproof platter in a warm (200F) oven to keep warm while cooking the rest.

6. Place 2 slices of French toast on each of 6 warm plates and spoon citrus compote over each slice.

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