Strawberries and Cream French Toast


For us, living in this peripherical part of London called Wimbledon, the end of June is the most exciting time of the year. This otherwise forgotten corner of London, where families move to stay out of the crowd and enjoy the green; where rich people found an antidote against their otherwise hectic lives in the city; and where it takes a long tube journey to get anywhere nearly exciting – this part of London called Wimbledon is now ready to shine.

The worldwide known tennis competition has started, attracting the crowds and bringing some life to the neighborhood. People gather in pubs and cafés. They all seem to be in a cheerful and relaxed mood, and the locals are happy to join in. It’s all about the tennis, of course, but it is also so much about the glamour and the atmosphere. Wimbledon might not be Ascot, but the village is very pretty, elegant and still considered quite posh. Admittedly, it feels good about sitting outside in one of the restaurants, eating some very Wimbledon-style fare while doing some proper people-watching.

There’s no Wimbledon Championships, though, without strawberries and cream. Britain produces some pretty awesome and tasty strawberries, and people tend to go literally bonkers for them as soon as the season starts, with the peak of strawberry madness happening around the final match.
To join in the spirit of the competition and the festive atmosphere of the neighborhood, we planned to cook up a celebratory weekend breakfast featuring strawberries and cream: a lush French toast made with sourdough bread, organic crème fraiche, and plump local strawberries, which I simply roasted with a little sugar to enhance their natural sweetness. It was as simple and as magical as it sounds. I can see this becoming a classic of our lazy summer mornings.

Strawberry and Cream French Toast

serves 2
For the roasted strawberries:
400g strawberries, washed, leaves removed
2 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with some parchment. In a bowl, mix the strawberries with sugar and lemon juice, then scatter them on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.

For the French toast:
4 thick slices of sourdough bread
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk or whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp butter, for frying


In a large pie dish, whisk egg, buttermilk, vanilla until combined. Place the bread slices in the batter and let them soak for a few minutes on each side. When completely soaked and soft, squeeze the excess of liquid out of them and place them on a separate plate until ready to use. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter. When hot, add the bread slices and fry until deeply golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

Serve with:
a big dollop of crème fraiche
plenty of roasted strawberries

a drizzle of maple syrup (optional)


Place two slices of bread, one on top of the other, on each plate. Top with cream, strawberries to taste, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

7 Comments

  1. la domestique June 29, 2013

    It's fun to read about Wimbledon from the perspective of someone who lives in the neighborhood. I bet the people watching is great fun too! I just recently made strawberry french toast with leftover focaccia and it was shockingly good. Next time I'll be sure to add the cream as you've done here.

    Reply
    • Valeria August 3, 2013

      With focaccia, oh wowowowowow!

      Reply
  2. Valentina June 30, 2013

    non conoscevo questa meravigliosa tradizione, devo rimediare! e non conosco ancora wimbledon, anche se nell'ultima venuta a londra stavamo quasi per organizzare un picnic da quelle parti…rimedierò presto, quando la piccola sarà nata e pronta per fantastiche avventure! baci. 😀

    Reply
    • Valeria August 3, 2013

      Ah, lo devi provare assolutamente! una volta ogni tanto, fa bene allo spirito…:) quanto a Wimbledon, quando vieni fammi sapere che organizziamo il picnic insieme!

      Reply
  3. Freak Frankie July 31, 2013

    Oserei dire lussurioso. Non conoscevo il pane in questa veste cosi' arricchita! Bisogna rimediare al più presto (fortunatamente c'è ancora qualche fragola tardiva in campagna dai miei! C'ho tentato anche io di coltivarle in terrazzo ma con scarso successo 🙁 Le mie possono essere utilizzate al massimo per decorare un cocktail!!!). Semplice ma grandiosa ricetta!

    Reply
    • Valeria August 3, 2013

      Io ho rinunciato ad ogni tipo di coltivazione da balcone (non ho neanche il terrazzo), ora solo piante grasse 😛 Lucky you ad avere le fragole campestri, ne ho mangiate una manciatina dritte dritte dal giardino di nonna solo due settimane fa – che sapore, erano ancora calde di sole! Comunque, ah si, il French Toast, come rendere una povera fetta di pane una regina! Provalo e vedrai…:)

      Reply
  4. Eden Passante September 7, 2016

    Yum! Looks so good!

    Reply

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