French Toast with Lemon-Ricotta Filling and Fresh Citrus Compote

Source: Thy Tran, Executive Chef, CUESA.

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

Serves 4


French Toast
½ cup sheep’s milk ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 thick slices firm bread
1 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
¼ cup orange liqueur or fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter or oil
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Fresh Citrus Compote
5 to 6 navel or blood oranges
¼ cup honey
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half, or two sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup orange liqueur or fresh orange juice
2 red grapefruit
4 to 6 mandarin oranges
Mint leaves, optional for garnish


For the French Toast

  1. Stir together the ricotta cheese, zest and cinnamon until evenly blended.

  2. With a paring knife, cut a pocket into one side of each bread slice. Gently fill the pockets with about two tablespoons of the ricotta filling. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the cream, eggs, liqueur or juice, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Arrange the filled bread in a large baking pan. Drizzle the mixture over the bread and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.
  5. In the morning, turn the slices carefully with a wide spatula to redistribute the egg batter. Let sit for a few minutes. In the meantime, heat a large, heavy skillet or preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Cook the French toast with butter or oil, turning once, until golden brown on each side and just warm at the center. Transfer to warm serving plates and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
  7. Serve immediately with citrus compote.


For the Fresh Citrus Compote

  1. With one of the oranges, peel wide strips of zest and squeeze fresh juice. Combine the the juice and zest with the honey, cinnamon stick, and liqueur or juice. Stir to blend well and set aside.

  2. To prepare the citrus segments: Peel the remaining oranges and the grapefruit with a small knife, removing all the white pith. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut and scrape away the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze the membranes to remove as much juice as possible.
  3. Add the citrus segments to the reserved juice and stir gently. Macerate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.


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