1 Parisienne Baguette with a sturdy crumb (sourdough or regular are both great here)
1 (14 ounce) Can LITE coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. lime zest
Canola or other flavorless oil for frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting
The night before:
In a blender combine coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, salt, and lime leaves or zest.
Blend on high speed until lime leaves are finely chopped, about 1 minute.
Pour custard into a pie dish or other flat-bottomed baking dish, and refrigerate overnight.
See shortcut options below*
Slice the baguette diagonally into 3/4-inch thick slices.
Add as many slices as will fit to the custard and let soak at least 1 minute (and up to 10), flipping to coat evenly.
In a large [12-inch] skillet, add enough oil to completely coat the bottom of pan, about 3 to 5 tablespoons.
Heat oil over medium-high to high heat, until hot and shimmery (but not smoking), and a drop of the custard immediately sizzles when added. Add soaked bread and fry 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until deep golden brown and crisp.
Use tongs to remove french toast from pan and blot on a paper-towel lined plate. You can hold the french toast in a warm oven until it’s all cooked, or serve immediately.
Put a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar in a fine mesh strainer and shake over toast to garnish.
For a “morning-of” shortcut, blend the coconut milk with the lime leaves (or zest), and microwave or bring to a simmer on the stove top. Let the lime steep in the hot coconut milk, 15 to 30 minutes.
Once the mixture has cooled to luke warm, add the remaining ingredients.
One final option, for a lazy-man’s coconut lime french toast, skip either of those lime-infusing steps, and make your custard and fry the french toast immediately
It’s still good; you just won’t taste as much lime flavor in the finished result.