Sage and Walnut-Crusted French Toast with Orange-Scented Labneh and Honey
1 cup (250 ml) full-fat plain yogurt
1 large orange, zest only
1 tsp (5 ml) + 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely minced fresh sage (about 6 or 7 large leaves), divided
1 tsp (5 ml) + ⅓ cup (75 ml) pure liquid honey, divided, plus extra for garnish
4 large eggs
¼ cup (60 ml) milk
1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
¾ cup (175 ml) panko bread crumbs
½ cup (125 ml) ground walnuts
4 tbsp (60 ml) unsalted butter, divided
8 thick slices whole-grain sourdough, challah, or brioche
oven-crisped prosciutto, for serving (optional)
orange wedges and fresh sage leaves, for garnish
- To make labneh, line a small sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth, muslin or linen and place over a small, deep bowl. Spoon in yogurt and pull edges of cheesecloth over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight to strain yogurt. The longer it strains, the firmer yogurt will become. Transfer to a glass container with a tight-fitting lid and stir in half the orange zest and 1 tsp (5 ml) sage. Drizzle with 1 tsp (5 ml) honey and refrigerate. Use within 1 week.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon. In another large shallow bowl, combine panko, walnuts, 1 tbsp (15 ml) sage and remaining orange zest. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and place oven rack in centre of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If not large enough to accommodate bread in a single layer, use 2 baking sheets. Whisk egg mixture again then transfer to a large shallow bowl.
- To make French toast, melt 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter in a large skillet and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Dip 2 slices bread thoroughly in egg mixture, then dip into panko mixture to evenly coat. Fry over medium heat until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. Don’t worry if they’re not cooked through as they will finish in oven. Transfer to baking sheet. Melt another 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter in skillet and repeat with remaining bread.
- Bake in oven for about 12 minutes, flipping once, or until fully cooked in the centre and lightly crisped. If necessary, reduce oven temperature to 200 F (95 C) and cover with tinfoil for up to 20 minutes until ready to serve. Serve with generous dollops of orange-scented labneh, drizzles of honey and crisped prosciutto, if using. Garnish with orange wedges and fresh sage.