RECIPE: Overnight Eggnog French Toast with Cherry Compote

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The holidays are not over.
No sir.
It's not over until we are all hung-over and sleepy this Wednesday, as we enjoy the first day of the New Year.

And you will want to eat something very yummy, but you won't want to work hard making it.

Well, put this on your to-do list tomorrow, before getting all sparkly and pretty. Whip this all up and it will be waiting for your oven the next morning.

You can nurse your headache with some aspirin and a cup of joe while it bakes.

I can't think of a better way to welcome 2014.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

note: the bread in the picture above was a holiday loaf given to me by one of my Girl Scouts that had green and purple marbling in it for a festive look (a lovely gift). So if you see interesting colors in the bread, it's not mold, just festive food coloring!

Overnight Eggnog French Toast with Cherry Compote

Ingredients:

French Toast: 
4 cups of eggnog 
4 eggs, lightly beaten 
1 teaspoon nutmeg 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
one 12-14 ounce bread loaf, halved horizontally, then each piece cut in halves 
3 tablespoons of butter, melted 
2 tablespoons of brown sugar for sprinkling

Cherry Compote:
1 bag (abt. 12 oz.) of frozen cherries, defrosted 
2 cups of apple juice 
2 tablespoons of brown sugar 
8 tablespoons of butter 
2 baking apples, peeled and cored, then chopped 
6 tablespoons of corn syrup 
1 teaspoon of vanilla 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
1/2 cup of sugar 

Directions:
Spray a 13 x 9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 

Take your sliced bread and lay on a baking sheet. Bake in a 200° oven for about 40 minutes, drying out the bread. Let bread cool while you prepare the batter. 

In a large bowl whisk the eggnog with the eggs. Add salt, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon. Shingle the bread slices in the waiting baking dish. Pour batter over the bread, pressing down with a spatula so that the bread gets completely soaked. Jostle the bread underneath so that the batter goes under the bread as well as over it. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. Meanwhile prepare your cherry compote. This can be made a day before then stored in the refrigerator. Then reheat before serving the french toast the next day. 

Drain the defrosted cherries but reserve the juice. Combine the juice in a sauce pan with the apple juice. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and brown sugar to the liquid. Whisk and simmer on medium-high heat for about an hour. The juice will get reduced down to 1 cup and be thick and bubbly. 

Meanwhile in a large bowl, cut the defrosted cherries in half. Mix the chopped apples with the cherries. In a large skillet melt the butter on medium heat. Add the cherries and apples and cook until just beginning to soften. Add the half cup of sugar and cook until the fruit and juice is thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Take off heat and cool slightly. 

Once the juice in the saucepan is reduced to 1 cup, add it to the fruit waiting in the skillet. Combine together and store until ready to serve. When ready to serve, heat in the microwave for a few minutes so that it is nice and smooth and can be drizzled over the French toast in the morning. 

In the morning let the eggnog French toast sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Take the plastic wrap off of the dish, preheat the oven to 375˚. After sitting at room temperature for 15 minutes, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle the toast with the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Drizzle melted butter all over the top. Bake on the middle rack for about 45 minutes. Rotate the dish halfway so that it cooks evenly. If things in the center are still not done, kick up the temperature to 400˚, and finish baking. Serve warm with a ladle for your guests to pour the compote. Maple syrup is optional!

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