This recipe was adapted by Gail Gand's "Brunch!" cards. I keep hoping I get to meet her, especially now that I was enducted into Les Dames D'Escoffier in Chicago. She is a prominent member of the group and a baking goddess. Maybe she can autograph my cards...or would that be wierd?
I came across this recipe when I was looking for a way to use up the peaches my Dad brought us from his yard. Gail's recipe uses apples. I liked the peach concoction I made. This is a keeper- super decadent and flavorful. You assemble it the night before, and then bake it the next morning. You can throw it in the oven then go back under a blanket for a while until it's ready to serve. Which I did. And it smells wonderful while you doze for a bit!
Baked Peach French Toast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups whole milk
8 thick slices crusty bread, around 1 1/2"-2" slices, toasted on a baking sheet in a 350 oven, turning thebread over once the tops are toasted so bottoms get golden too. Once cooled, cut slices in half vertically.
Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Next, make the peach topping. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced peaches and heat until simmering. Add the sugar, juice, salt and spices. Cook on medium heat until peaches are tender and juices are bubbly and syrupy. Take off heat and let cool slightly.
Take your toasted bread wedges and line them up in two rows overlapping the bread.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar until thick and yellow. Add the milk, salt and vanilla while whisking. Whisk until well combined. Gently pour all the milk mixture over the bread. Next ladle the peach and their syrup over the bread evenly. Let sit out to allow the heat and steam from the peaches to eventually stop. Then cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, preheat oven to 350. While oven is heating up, let the french toast sit out at room temp to warm up a little. Bake the dish uncovered on the middle rack until puffy and golden. This can take up to an hour. I put the baking dish on the top rack the last 10 minutes to make sure the middle of the dish is puffed up and cooked through. Once done, let cool down for 10 minutes before serving with some maple syrup.