In Scandinavia, French Toast is known as Arme Riddere (or Fattiga Riddare in Sweden). It literally translates to “Poor Knights”. Stale sourdough or country bread is soaked in a cinnamon milk mixture and pan fried until golden. I found a wonderful variation in Scandilicious: Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking that tops the Arme Riddere with macerated strawberries and sweetened mint sour cream. You can also simply serve the bread with jam, fresh berries, or even a drizzle of chocolate or nutella sauce.
Clarified butter has a higher smoking point compared to regular butter and is best to fry the bread so it doesn’t darken too much. If you don’t have clarified butter available and don’t want to make your own, you can also use a teaspoon of vegetable oil mixed with a small piece of butter.
Clarified butter, also known as ghee, is easy to make using a stove top or microwave. On the stove top, melt unsalted butter over low heat in a saucepan. A foam will begin to develop on the top. Skim the foam from the top and any milky solids from the bottom. Continue to heat and skim until all the foam is removed. Pour remaining golden clarified butter in an airtight container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. To make in the microwave: heat butter in a glass cup for 2 minutes. Let stand for a minute. Skim foam from the top and pour into an airtight container, removing any milky solids from the bottom. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Arme Riddere (Norwegian Cinnamon Toast)
Adapted from Scandilicious: Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking . . .
1 pound fresh strawberries
3-4 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons (100 milliliters) sour cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons (100 milliliters) whole milk
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 slices stale white sourdough or country bread
2 teaspoons clarified butter
Hull and halve or quarter the strawberries. Place in a medium bowl and toss with sugar and lemon juice. More sugar may be needed depending on the sweetness of the strawberries.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream with a large pinch of sugar and chopped mint. If using, mix in peppermint extract.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Add the bread slices, making sure each is completely coated. Allow them to soak the milk mixture.
In a skillet, melt clarified butter over medium heat. Lift a slice of bread from the bowl, removing excess liquid, and place in thoroughly heated pan. Fry until golden, 1-2 minutes, then flip to other side. Fry another 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
Serve immediately with the macerated strawberries and mint flavored sour cream.