Lemon Poppyseed Muffin French Toast with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Have you ever tried the fresh-baked jumbo muffins from the bakery case in your local Chief store? I am a big-time baker at home, so it is very rare that we buy any baked goods from the grocery store. However, the first weekend of May, we made a bit of an exception. We had just completely gutted our kitchen (no countertops, no dishwasher, no cabinets, no sink...) and it also happened to be my birthday. While I was out for my morning run, my hubby decided to surprise me with breakfast from Chief. He ran and picked up a half-dozen or so of the bakery muffins in all the different flavors for a nice little birthday treat. We cut them all in half so we could try more flavors, and man, I was pleasantly surprised! These muffins rock. My favorite flavor was the Lemon Poppyseed, and I knew I had to come up with a special recipe that highlights these muffins. I thought of a couple ideas (bread pudding, dessert trifle) before I landed on French toast. What better way to make a breakfast classic even sweeter?   IMG_4182   The idea is pretty basic - slice a bakery muffin (any flavor that is your favorite!) into 1/2-inch thick slices, dip it in an egg batter, and fry it up in a griddle until crisp & golden on the outside. I served the lemon poppyseed variation with a strawberry-rhubarb compote, because lemon + strawberries are a match made in heaven, and my mom has had rhubarb out the wazoo in her garden. Start with the strawberry-rhubarb compote first... it can simmer while you prepare the French toast. Combine some strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, water, & vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat, and just let it bubble away until thick. It's that simple!   [caption id="attachment_2787" align="aligncenter" width="308"]IMG_4180 At the beginning[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2792" align="aligncenter" width="321"]IMG_4188 After 20 minutes of simmering[/caption]   While the compote is simmering, prepare the French toast. I found it easiest to slice each muffin into 3 slices top to bottom. Make a little egg batter, coat both sides of each muffin, and fry in a bit of butter on a griddle over medium heat.  



  Just a few minutes on each side until it is golden brown.   IMG_4187   Serve it up with a drizzle of the strawberry-rhubarb compote, and you don't even need any syrup! This was a perfect breakfast for summer - very light, with the citrus and fruit compote. It would be even tastier served up with some more sliced strawberries. (I accidentally used all mine in the sauce!)  


  You could totally go crazy with flavor combinations here. Pistachio muffins with chocolate glaze, blueberry muffins with good ole' fashioned maple syrup, banana-walnut muffins with caramelized bananas. Your creativity is the limit! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lemon Poppyseed Muffin French Toast with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Servings/Yield: about 4 servings
  • For the compote
    • 1-1½ cups sliced strawberries
    • 1 cup diced rhubarb
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the French toast
    • 4 bakery-style lemon poppyseed muffins
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup milk
    • 2-4 tablespoons butter
Method For the strawberry-rhubarb compote, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, water, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low until bubbly and thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20-25 minutes. For the French toast, whisk together eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Slice each muffin into thirds, into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Preheat skillet or saucepan over medium heat; add about 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Dip each slice of muffin into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Place onto hot skillet; cook until golden brown. Flip, and cook the other side until golden brown. Serve warm French toast with strawberry-rhubarb compote. Source: adapted from The Rhode Show

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