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Tahitian French Toast

French Toast with fresh pineapple and coconut.

Transports you to Tahiti

A few weeks ago my brother Roger called about a dish he wanted me to try out. French Toast that transports your senses to Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia. He mentioned coconut milk, fresh pineapple and Texas toast size bread. After entertaining thoughts of palm trees swaying in the breeze and creamy sand beaches in my mind’s eye I decided to put coconut and pineapple to pan and pen. With all these fresh flavors, the critical component is the coconut extract. It has enough potency to balance the pineapple. French Toast is usually pan fried at home and often deep fried when ordered out. This version, baked to a delicate crunch with only a trace of oil, reduces the calories but concentrates the island essence. It also reduces the busy work of batch frying and everybody eats when the sheet pan comes hot out of the oven. If you can’t make it to Tahiti, ‘bake’ it to Tahiti.

Recipe: Tahitian French Toast

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Yield: 5 servings | Level: Easy

Pineapple/Coconut Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconutFrench-Toast-Pineapple-Sauce-Cooking

French Toast

  • 4 eggs
  • juice from 1/2 orange, about 2 Tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/2 tsp orange zest, divided
  • 5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup biscuit mix
  • 10 1-inch slices challah
  • pineapple and orange slices, garnish

Pineapple/Coconut Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 Heat oven to 400 degrees and put a large baking sheet lined with non-stick foil on the center shelf.

French Toast
French-Toast-Baking-Side-One2 In a food processor or blender crack the eggs and then add orange juice, 1/2 tsp orange zest, coconut milk, coconut extract, shredded coconut and biscuit mix. Process until sauce is smooth except small flecks of coconut.

3 Pour into a flat bottom bowl or pie plate. Pull the hot baking sheet out of the oven and spray with cooking spray. Dip both side of the bread in the batter and line up on the baking sheet.

4 Bake for 10 minutes then turn slices over and bake on second side for 10 minutes.

Pineapple/Coconut SauceFrench-Toast-Baking-Side-Two
5 In the meantime, cut, peel and chop the pineapple.

6 Place 1 1/2 cups pineapple into a small saucepan along with sugar. Heat and stir until it is bubbly and translucent. Take off heat and cool for 5 minutes.

7 Pour the pineapple sauce into the food processor or blender and process until smooth.

8 Pour into a medium bowl and add remaining 1 cup of pineapple, lemon juice and 1/4 cup coconut.

9 Serve baked French toast hot out of the oven with pineapple/coconut sauce and garnish with remaining 1/2 tsp orange zest. Also garnish with additional pineapple and orange slices.

This dish takes about 2/3 of a medium to large pineapple. Use a ripe fruit that is sweet, juicy and at room temperature. Use some of the leftover pineapple for garnish.

Use one orange for this recipe. First grate off 1 tsp of the zest. Cut the orange in half and juice 2 Tbsp liquid. Slice the other half for garnish.

Non-stick foil a must. The French toast will actually slide around so it is easy to turn halfway through. If you use regular foil or bake directly on the cooking sheet, it will stick to the pan.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange Challah for brioche or other eggy bread
  • Exchange biscuit mix for Bisquick.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: June 23, 2012

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7 Responses to Tahitian French Toast

  1. Roger August 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    This dish looks great. Our family will be making it this weekend. Roger

    • helenhorton August 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Wish I were closer and I would join you. Thanks for the ideas/suggestions. It was a lot of fun (and yummmy) to create this dish. As you may see pineapple is one of my favorite fruits. You don’t have to twist my arm.

  2. Audrey August 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    This is truly heavenly. I loved how the toast came out and the sauce is unexpectedly better than I thought.

  3. Rachel April 11, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    We made this for Easter brunch. It was fun and yummy. I made little suns on the plates using the remaining orange (cut into rounds) surrounded by little pineapple triangles which delighted my daughter.

    • helenhorton April 12, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      I need a photo shot of this ‘sunshine’.

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