We recently had a few folks over for brunch. I made three things that you have to know about. The first is this incredibly easy French Toast Casserole. So simple and so delicious. Crispy top with soft, pillowy custard center. You have to try this sometime.
But the two others are also fabulous. I did not do anything different than the recipe called for, so here are links to the recipes. I baked my scrambled eggs. OMG – they were the best. The fluffiest eggs I have EVER had. And I used a copycat recipe to make my ham taste like a honey-baked ham. Not quite there but better than I expected and everyone loved it. I had a small two-pound pre-sliced ham section that I used so I did not heat up the ham until it went under the broiler to caramelize the topping. It was delish.
Overnight French Toast Casserole
French Toast Casserole:
1 1/2 large loaf good-quality Challah (or French bread) (enough to yield 12 cups of chunks of bread)
12 large eggs
3 cups whole milk plus extra to brush on top before baking
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest from one medium orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped Marcona almonds
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch or two of salt
The Night Before:
Lightly grease with butter-flavored cooking spray a 9×13 glass* baking dish.
Slice the bread into 1-inch slices and then cut them into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes into the baking dish. The full pan will be mounded. That is ok.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the milk, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well. Pour or ladle the egg and milk mixture evenly over all the bread chunks.
Cover and place the casserole in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake the next morning.
The Next Morning:
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Place an oven rack in the center position.
Take your casserole out of the fridge, remove your cover, and allow it to come to room temperature. While it is coming to room temperature, check the french toast casserole for dry spots. With a small dish of milk and a pastry brush, dab the dry spots with milk to moisten. If the top is dry the bottom probably is too so be sure to add enough to reach the bottom chunks. Now sprinkle on the chopped almonds.
In another bowl, mix the melted butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a spoon, lightly spread the mixture evenly over all the moistened bread cubes.
Bake the french toast casserole for 35 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean and the topping is brown and crunchy.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with maple syrup.
*A glass baking dish allows for you to see how well the custard absorbed into the bread cubes and where you may wish to correct it before baking.
Here is a downloadable PDF: Overnight French Toast Casserole
Look at these eggs. So pillowy and fluffy.
That’s all for now.
Rick & Gary