Cinnamon French Toast with POM Apple Compote


4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups low-fat milk or plain soymilk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
8 slices cinnamon swirl or challah bread, sliced 1-1/2" thick
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

POM Apple Compote:
Juice from 2 to 3 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
1/2 cup dried, pitted cherries
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 lbs. Gala apples, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
1/2 cup real maple syrup

1 cup arils from 1 to 2 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates
powdered sugar as needed


Cinnamon French Toast:
Score 1 to 2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water, break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs), the arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top, sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl, reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside, (refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use), in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk (or soymilk), vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg, place the bread slices in a flat casserole dish, and cover with the egg mixture, let soak for 5 to 10 minutes, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the slices of the soaked bread to the pan and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side, top the cinnamon French toast with the warm pomegranate apple compote, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh pomegranate arils.

POM Apple Compote:
Prepare fresh pomegranate juice*, heat pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers, turn off heat; add sliced vanilla bean and dried cherries. Let rest for 15 minutes until cherries are plump, scrape vanilla beans out of the pod and add them back into the compote; discard the remaining pod, heat a 12" skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan and add the sliced apples, cook the apples until they begin to soften but still hold their shape, about 5 to 6 minutes, add the maple syrup to the apples along with the pomegranate juice with the cherries, simmer until the juice reduces to syrup, about 5 to 8 minutes.

*For 1 cup of juice, cut 2 to 3 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus reamer or juicer. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside.

--Recipe by Akasha Richmond for POM Wonderful

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