It’s perfect for special weekend brunches, which is why I’m bringing this to you on a soggy and puddle-filled Friday morning. Before gathering the umbrella that I never use for myself, only for the kids ( I prefer to just run for it, don’t you?), I made this quick bread for breakfast and then soaked it in a spiced egg custard then seared it on all six sides in browned butter and topped it with maple butter pecan ice cream. It’s awesome and banana bread french toast is a classic. It’s a rainy weekend comfort breakfast of mine that you must try tomorrow morning. This particular banana bread recipe is speckled with oatmeal and packed with nuts to make it hearty and satisfying in addition to deliciously sweet and decadent. The browned butter and spices are spectacular when paired with the contrasting cold of the maple butter pecan ice cream. It’s autumn in a bite.
It’s apparently going to be pouring rain for all of today and possibly tomorrow too, so this is just the thing to accompany your coziest sweat pants, the always alluring excuse not to go running too many errands and perhaps even a blanket, hot beverage of your choice and a great book. How anyone can’t love rainy days with those things alone is completely beyond me. Add this lovely banana bread, turn it into the best french toast you’ve ever eaten and (sure, why not just twice a year) top it with some ice cream you have yourself one happy little day, rainy or not.
Banana Nut Bread French Toast with Maple Butter Pecan Ice Cream
French Toast: Serves 6-8
- 5 eggs
- pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- butter (for pan)
- slices of banana bread (recipe follows)
- maple butter pecan ice cream, for serving (recipe follows)
Whisk together eggs, spices, vanilla and milk. In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat, add butter. While butter begins to cook, drop slices of banana bread into eggs mixture. Coat on all sides of the bread. Drop bread into pan once butter begins to brown. Sear french toast on all six sides, gently until browned, using tongs and a spatula (do the largest sides first so it doesn’t fall apart on you).
Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread
- 4 spotted bananas
- dash of cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg and/or ginger (optional)
- one teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 heaping cup of chopped nuts (I used a combination of pecans, walnuts and almonds)
- 1/2 stick butter (at room temperature)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs (at room temperature)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and grease a nine inch bread pan and move oven rack to top third of the oven.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine bananas, spices and vanilla. Mash together and microwave on high until fragrant and soft. Using an electric mixer or whisk, thoroughly mix the bananas with the spices until smooth and uniform in texture. Add oats and stir to combine.
Sift together the flours and baking soda. Gently toast nuts in a dry nonstick sauté pan until fragrant and then add to flour mixture. Toss to combine.
With an electric mixer or whisk, thoroughly cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg is added. Add in the bananas and whisk thoroughly again. Lastly add in the dry-nut-flour mixture in two additions, gently stirring after each addition.
Bake in prepared oven until the bread springs back when gently pressed (or about thirty minutes). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Maple Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
Coarsely chop pecans. In a skillet melt butter over moderate heat until foam subsides. Toast pecans in butter, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Cool pecans and chill in a sealable plastic bag. Buttered pecans may be made 3 days ahead and chilled.
In a heavy saucepan bring cream, milk, maple syrup, and salt just to a boil, stirring occasionally. In a bowl beat yolks until smooth. Add hot cream mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into pan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170° F. Pour custard through a sieve into a clean bowl and cool. Stir in extract. Chill custard, its surface covered with plastic wrap, at least 3 hours, or until cold, and up to 1 day.
Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker. Transfer ice cream to a bowl and fold in chilled pecans. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.