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French Toast with Poached Pears, Walnut Ice Cream, and Caramel Sauce

Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 firm Bartlett pears
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 (3/4-inch-thick) French baguette slices
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • Walnut Ice Cream
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Garnishes: fresh mint sprigs, pesticide-free pansies
  • pesticide-free pansies

How to Make It

  1. Bring 1/2 cup sugar and wine to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

  2. Peel and core pears; cut in half. Add to wine mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until pears are crisp-tender. Transfer pears and poaching liquid to a bowl; cool completely. Cut each pear half into 6 wedges; return to liquid. Cover and chill.

  3. Whisk together eggs, milk, and next 4 ingredients. Dip each bread slice into the spiced egg mixture.

  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add half of the bread slices, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and bread slices.

  5. Drain pears. Serve French toast slices with pears and Walnut Ice Cream. Drizzle with Caramel Sauce; arrange mint and pansies on each plate, if desired.