8thick slices of French Bread(or other crusty bread)
3/4cupabout 6 ounces vegan cream cheese*, softened to room temperature
2tablespoonscoconut sugar(or brown sugar)
3/4cupcanned pumpkin purée
1 1/2cupsplant-based milk of choice
2 1/2tablespoonsnutritional yeast
2tablespoonspure maple syrup + more for serving
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1/2cupdried cranberries(rehydrated in boiling water for 10 minutes)
Vegan butter or coconut oil for cooking
Take each slice of bread and slice from the top of the crust to the middle to create a pocket through the crust.
Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and using a rubber spatula, fold in the pecans and the brown sugar or coconut sugar until well incorporated and the mixture is spreadable.
Gently smear a bit of the cream cheese mixture inside a bread pocket, then gently push the bread down to seal. Repeat with each slice of bread.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, plant-based milk, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, sea salt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour the pumpkin custard into a pie plate or other shallow bowl.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with vegan butter or coconut oil. Test to see if the skillet is hot enough by splashing a few drops of water in the skillet – if they sizzle immediately, the skillet is hot enough.
While the skillet is heating, dunk a stuffed slice of bread into the pumpkin custard and coat well on both sides, letting the excess custard drip off.
Add the soaked bread to the hot skillet and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp on both sides. If your pan is large enough, you can fry two slices at once, but be sure to not overcrowd the pan.
Top the French Toast with the plumped cranberries and serve with pure maple syrup.
* I recommend Tofutti cream cheese (not soy-free) or Kite Hill Foods (soy-free, contains almonds).