Overnight French Toast in the Sunshine State

/ Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good morning sunshines! Just because it's spring break, don't think I've forgotten about you. It's breakfast time here in Tarpon Springs, FL and you are so welcome to join us.

Last night my Nanny and I were inspired to prep some overnight french toast. I don't know how many of you partake in weekend morning entertaining, either with a special someone or friends a ta maison. There's nothing sexier than breakfast that seems effortless. It totally makes you seem skillful! The best way to fake your pizzazz if you're a breakfast-phobe is fixing something that can be started the night before. Par example: overnight french toast, overnight eggs & sausage bake, overnight pancakes(Kath Eats Real Food has a great recipe) and slowly cooked steel cut oats! 

There are a couple different methods of making french toast overnight. The best news is it's a great way to use old-ish bread. Waste not, crave not! No matter what, you start with a custard of eggs, milk, sugar and flavoring. 

Once your custard is made you can proceed one of two ways: 

1. Soak slices of bread with the custard in a casserole dish, then transfer bread to a baking dish and cook on high heat so that the french toast is crispy on the outside and custardy on the inside. 

2. Soak slices of bread with the custard in a casserole dish, heat the oven to  a medium temperature and bake it right in the casserole dish as you would a bread pudding. 

You can even chop up the bread into bite size pieces and make a bread-pudding french toast with berries or cinnamon apples. How am I still hungry? I just ate! 

One thing I love about french toast is that it's completely versatile.  You can fudge with it to fit the taste of you or your guest(s). Tweak the flavor right at the beginning by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus zest, almond extract, Kalua, ginger, whatever, to your custard! If you want a subtle custard but still want to make your breakfast unique, dress 'em up with different toppings. Berry compote is always my favorite, but fresh berries and honey is a close runner up. My mom covers her french toast with cinnamon sugar. Nanny prefers butter and maple syrup. Why stop there? Go for sauteed apples, bacon & syrup, lemon curd or chocolate sauce. 

Overnight French Toast Custard (4 people) 
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 baguette, slices on an angle

1. Beat together eggs and buttermilk. 
2. Add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined. 
3. Arrange the bread slices in a casserole dish. Pour the custard over the bread. Let it soak over night. 
4a. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Arrange the custardy bread on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes on each side. 
4b. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the casserole dish in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes. 
5. Top with your personalized goodies. Enjoy!

There will be plenty more meals to share with y'all in the coming days. Miss you! Enjoy.

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