I've always liked french toast, but there is something about a crispy, sugary, browned french toast that beats any skillet egg-dipped bread in my book.
Ah - this casserole. More delicious than I could have imagined. It has the crispy, sugary taste that I love. I also love that it's an "overnight" recipe - meaning prepare, sit for 3-12 hours, bring to room temperature the next day and bake till crispy.
The original recipe I found was from Ezra Pound Cake. But I made a few changes, other than halving the recipe for just Josh & I.
Overnight French Toast Casserole
adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 + 1/8 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 slices Texas Toast, cut into about 1" cubes (alternatives: brioche or challah)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 T butter, melted
- Combine the melted butter and 1/2 the brown sugar in a baking dish.
- Toss the cubed bread with the remaining brown sugar, arrange at bottom of baking dish (they will overlap)
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread, and let it soak in
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 to 12 hours
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while the casserole sits at room temperature for about 20 minutes
- While you wait, make the topping - chop the pecans and mix with the brown sugar and melted butter. Top the casserole with the pecan mixture.
- Bake the casserole until it’s browned and set, 30 to 45 minutes. Let it cool slightly on a wire rack. Plate the casserole and finish with sifted confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup
I loved how the casserole was crispy on the top and almost bread-pudding-like on the bottom. The pecan-crunchy topping was such a great addition - I would have never thought to add the pecans if it weren't for the original recipe!! Monday morning I microwaved the leftovers then popped them in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes, and it was just as good as when it was freshly made!!