Easter is rapidly approaching, and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite food days. I absolutely love brunch at my Granny’s house on Easter morning. When I was a senior in high school, I was devastated to learn that I had to get my wisdom teeth out over Spring/Easter break. I remember crying on Easter morning because I couldn’t consume all of my favorite treats. It was a tragedy, actually that whole experience was rather unpleasant, but I won’t bore you with those details. I made sure to make up for it ever since in the years to come! I thought this would be the perfect addition for anyone’s Easter brunch.
I actually blogged this french toast before
, if you dare click for the awesome photo. It was in desperate need of a second chance on the blog because it is amazing. My sister, Cathleen, discovered this french toast a few years ago and every Christmas morning she makes it for us. It is devoured every year even though there is lots of other food available. My in-laws came to visit a few weeks ago which I mentioned when I posted the Stuffed Pepper Soup. I had an intense craving for this and decided that it would be perfect to serve them on Saturday morning before making the drive back to NC. Even though we were out late the night before, Blair and I came home from the movies to put this together for the morning. It couldn’t be easier to make. First you start with a brown sugar buttery glaze that ends up being the top layer. You layer some bread and then cover that with a egg/half & half mixture, then you let it soak overnight to marinate. In the morning you get to be lazy and then let it bake away. You got yourself a superstar brunch item.
Crème Brûlée French Toast
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1 loaf of bread (I used challah)
1 1/2 cups half & half
1 tsp. vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
What you’ll do:
In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth & syrup-like. Pour into a 13 x9 baking dish. Cut 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. I get about 16 slices from the Challah bread.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, , and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, half & half, vanilla, Grand Marnier if using, and salt. Pour evenly over bread layer. Cover dish and place in fridge to marinate, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. The next day, allow dish to come to room temperature about 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes. The edges should be a pale golden color and the middle will puff up. Once baked, allow to rest for a few minutes, invert a serving dish and flip the french toast so that the syrupy side is facing up.
Source: Gourmet Magazine, July 1998 via Cathleen Ryer