Monsoon season has announced herself in the desert. It rained all day last Sunday. The temperature dropped to the low 60s and hazy, mist-shrouded mountains demanded Santa Fe’s inhabitants to don their flannel and pull out mugs of hot mint tea. When I woke up last Sunday morning, the air was crisp and fresh. The fountain was full and I turned it on for a sensory addition to my morning yoga. With such abundant water and light, it seemed appropriate to give thanks. And so I did. For breakfast.
I looked in the fridge and pulled out local whole milk so creamy it leaves a film reminiscent of butter and cheesecake on your tongue, Irene’s green and brown farm eggs, and bowls of bright red-orange apricots. The apricots’ skin was soft and sinfully fragrant at the touch. They begged for a little self preservation. I found a couple stale slices of crumbly Orno bread from Wednesday’s market and added the slices to my ingredient pile.
While listening to little apricot pleas, I cracked eggs, spilled milk, and scraped out the seedy interior of a fresh vanilla bean pod. I pitted over 250 apricots and set them at a simmer on the stove. When finished, the kitchen could’ve been declared a national disaster zone, yellow caution tape and all.
The french toast was creamy with a delicate golden crust. I drizzled fresh apricot sauce over my slice’s eggy interior and watched it saturate with ethereal tartness. The tastes, the smells, the moment of absolute contentment: it was water in the desert.
Apricot Sunday French Toast
from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life. And yes, Molly is correct; use the amount of oil she calls for in the recipe.
for 6 slices bread, serves 3.
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or fresh vanilla
¼ tsp salt
Mild-tasting vegetable oil, such as canola
6 slices bread (a bias-cut country French loaf, orno bread, etc…), about ¾ to 1 inch thick
Whisk together the first five ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl. Place a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over low to medium heat, and add enough oil to just cover the bottom of the skillet.
Two or three at a time, add the bread slices to the egg mixture in the bowl, allowing them to rest for a minute or two on each side. They should feel heavy and thoroughly saturated, but not be falling apart. When the oil is hot, place the slices in the skillet. They should sizzle a bit, and the oil will bubble lightly around the edges of the bread; take care, however, that the oil is not too hot or the egg mixture will burn. Cook until the underside of each slice is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the bread, and cook until the second side is golden, another 2 minutes or so. Remove the bread from the skillet to a plate lined with a paper towel, allow to rest for 30 seconds, and serve immediately. Top with greek yogurt, stewed prunes, apricot sauce, cinnamon, and honey. Cherries on top are always welcome.