French Toast with Maple Ginger Grapefruit

1 pink grapefruit

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger (or substitute 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)

1/4 cup maple syrup, divided

3 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

8 (3/4-inch-thick) slices Challah or country-style bread

With a zester or microplane, remove zest from grapefruit. Cut a small slice off each end of grapefruit and stand it upright on a cutting surface. With a knife, remove the peel in strips, maintaining the curved shape. Holding the grapefruit in one hand, cut out the segments of fruit between the membranes. Hold your hand over a bowl to catch any juices. When you are done, squeeze remaining juices from membrane into the bowl; reserve.

In a small sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add almonds, ginger, 3 tablespoons maple syrup and reserved juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until the consistency of light syrup, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Toss in grapefruit sections. Stir very gently to coat the sections; set aside.

Beat eggs with milk, remaining 1 tablespoon syrup and add 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Dip 3 or 4 slices of bread into the egg batter and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove to a heated platter or keep warm in a low oven. Dip remaining slices in egg batter and cook as above.

To serve, place 2 toasts a plate and top with grapefruit mixture.

Yield: 4 servings