Stir the mascarpone, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside.
The Macerated berries
Wash the fresh fruit and if you’re using strawberries, remove the tops. Over medium heat, place the fruit in a small saucepan, add the sugar, and lemon juice. Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer as the liquid starts to release and thicken. Simmer for 8 minutes then remove from the heat.
The french toast
Slice the challah into 1 and 1/2 inch slices. Then cut a slit down the flat side of the bread (as pictured) and spoon a generous amount of the mascarpone into the opening. Do this for all of the slices.
In a large bowl or pie dish whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, heavy cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until the custard is smooth and creamy.
Melt the olive oil and butter in the skillet or pan on medium-high heat. As it’s melting, dunk the sliced bread into the custard and coat on both sides then place it into the hot pan. Let the bread cook on each side for 3-5 minutes until it is golden brown. Adjust your heat settings as needed if the french toast is cooking too fast. Keep some butter and oil nearby in case you need more to coat the pan.
Once finished cooked, butter your french toast and serve with macerated berries.
Make sure your heavy cream is cold, this will help with achieving a nice crusty exterior
Be sure to leave your bread out so that it’s stale. This helps the bread soak up the custard without becoming soggy
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