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Gracie’s Make-Ahead Baked French Toast

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

When we were building our cottage on Isle au Haut, we spent a great deal of time at my sister Gracie’s house. My kids just loved staying with their Aunt Gracie and Uncle Bud, and why wouldn’t they? Gracie was in the habit of rising early and putting French toast in the oven so that it was ready when they piled out of bed on a bright summer morning and arrived at the breakfast table. It’s a great recipe because the French toast is prepared well ahead of time–even the night before—and so having it ready when the household wakes up is not as much of a sacrifice as it may sound.

Serves4

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood processor

Mealbreakfast, brunch

Moodblue, stressed

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, sweet

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup light cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 slices day-old bread, cut 1 inch thick (I prefer french bread)
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Maple syrup, gently warmed

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the eggs, cream, milk, honey, vanilla, and nutmeg. Process until smooth. Alternatively, mix this by hand with a wire whisk.

  2. Arrange the bread slices in a snug layer in a shallow, freezer-safe dish just large enough to hold them.

  3. Pour the batter over the bread and let it sit a few minutes to soak in. Gently turn the slices over and let them soak up the rest of the batter.

  4. Put the dish in the freezer, uncovered, for at least 4 hours or overnight, until frozen. (Once it is frozen, the bread slices can be packed in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag for up to 2 weeks.)

  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a baking sheet.

  6. Put the frozen bread on the baking sheet. Brush each slice on one side with half the melted butter. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 15 minutes. Turn the bread slices over and brush with the remaining butter. Bake for about 8 minutes longer, or until nicely browned.

  7. Serve the French toast immediately with warm maple syrup on the side.

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