Sunday, October 10, 2010

French toast with a funny name: Bostock

Pumpkin bostock. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

 I’m a half-hearted gardener at best - each spring, I clear out the weeds from the flower bed by the driveway and hand the girls seed packets and let them go to town. This year, we planted zinnias and daisies for the bright flowers, pumpkins and watermelons for the kid-pleasing factor (note: Burpee's Cut and Come Again Zinnia is always a winner). They all combined to yield a crazy quilt of blooms and vines in the garden. We faithfully watered through the summer, and in August, the vines got serious and shot out like Audrey II, taking over the garden bed and sending forth  blooms. I wondered if pumpkin blossoms could be stuffed like squash blossoms, with goat cheese, then battered and fried. (and indeed they can, here's a visit to the future: Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms)

In September, a fruit formed, and here she is, our own little pumpkin buddy:


 Pumpkin is the flavor of fall and I use it to flavor Bostock, the French toast with the funny name. Using Francis Lam’s formula, I infused Challah slices with maple syrup, slathered them with seasoned pumpkin butter, broiled them and topped them with snappy crystallized ginger.

I didn't harvest our homegrown fruit for this treat, instead using canned pumpkin.

pumpkin and maple

Pumpkin Butter
This makes quite a large amount. You may halve this quantity, or make the whole and freeze it until Christmas - a jar of pumpkin butter is a coveted gift.
1 cup apple cider or apple juice

1 ½ teaspoons ginger

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cloves

1 tablespoon orange zest

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 ¼ cup sugar

Pinch salt

2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin puree

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine apple cider, flavorings and sugar. Stir and let come to a boil. Lower heat and stir in pumpkin puree. Let cool. Place in plastic container and keep in refrigerator.

Maple Glaze
½ cup maple syrup

½ cup water

½ teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool.

pumpkin bostock
Pumpkin bostock with maple and ginger. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Pumpkin Bostock with Maple and Ginger
Makes 6 sevings

1 recipe Maple Glaze

½ cup Pumpkin Butter

6 slices Challah bread, 1 ½ inches thick, stale or left at room temperature for a couple hours

1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a sheet pan with foil and a nonstick grid, if you have one. Dip bread slices in maple glaze and squeeze out extra liquid. Place on grid-covered baking sheet.

2. Spread each toast with pumpkin butter. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Your kitchen will be unbelievably fragrant at this point.

3. Remove toasts from ovens and sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger. Serve with hot, black coffee.

Text and images © 2010, Lucy Mercer.

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