Our first December recipe is Baked French Toast! It looks delicious – anyone planning on swapping out any of the fruit/flavors? Can’t wait to see the entries on December 4.
Baked French Toast
Baked Explorations, p. 48
For the baked french toast
1 loaf French, Italian or Challah bread, about 11 ounces
5 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup whole, skinned almonds, coarsely chopped
For the raspberry sauce
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or raspberry liqueur
Make the Baked French Toast
Generously butter the sides and bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Cut the loaf into 1- or 1 1/2-inch slices and arrange them in the pan.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs just until they break up. Add the half-and-half, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk until combined. Pour the mixture over the bread slices. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use your fingers to flip each bread slice over, making sure to coat the entire surface with the liquid. Arrange the bread in an overlapping pattern, sprinkle it with the almonds and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the French toast is golden brown and the mixture is puffy. Set the French toast aside to cool in the pan.
Make the raspberry sauce
In a small saucepan, toss the raspberries with the sugar. Cook the mixture over low heat until the berries start to break down, about 10 minutes. Strain the cooked raspberry sauce through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, then stir in the lemon juice.
Assemble the French Toast
Pour the raspberry sauce directly over the warm French toast (or serve it alongside in a gravy boat) and serve immediately. Top with whole fresh raspberries, if you have any left over.
Excerpted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2010 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.