Baked Peach French Toast

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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

Ingredients

4 cups sliced fresh peaches, skins removed

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

Custard

8 eggs

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.


Directions

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.

 

RECIPE: Easy Peach and Cranberry Streusel

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Well, gang. Peach-A-Pa-Looza continues in our kitchen. But I think we are getting to the end of it. My dad dropped off a bushel last week, so we have been making our way through all those before we get into all the apple-pumpkin-spice-a-pa-looza. This is a super easy dessert that you can sub apples or berries if you wish. The key is a shallow dish to get thing syrupy and gooey while crispy on top.

Vanilla ice cream is awesome on top if you have it!

 

Peach and Cranberry Streusel

Ingredients:

Peel, pit and slice about 3 cups peaches

2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
Dash of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. dried ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Streusel
1/2 cup flour
Dash of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup pecan chips
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400˚. Spray a shallow baking dish (1/2 inch deep or less) with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a saucepan mix the peaches with spices, water, sugar and vanilla. Cook on medium heat, simmer for 10 minutes until thickened a syrupy. Take off heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make crumble top. In a small bowl mix nuts, flour, salt, sugar and spices. Cut in the butter, and using a fork and your fingers, press and mash it in the flour. The mix should look crumbly and butter evenly distributed.
Pour peach mixture into the baking dish. Crumble the streusel mixture in a even layer on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until top is golden and peaches are soft and bubbly. Serve warm. If your feeling decadent add some vanilla ice cream in top!

CRAFT: Fall Ribbon & Fabric "Bric-a-Brac" Wreath

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This is a SUPER EASY wreath that I made with my girl scout troop. I had them make smaller ones, and I made a larger one so they could see an example better, and I could put it on my door for fall. I got the idea from a blogger in Denmark, and she used a simple wire circle as the base. I couldn't find anything at the craft shop that was just a simple wire circle, so I used a wooden embroidery hoop for $1.99. It ended up working better. The hoop's screw tightener gave me a place to be able to put a large bow on the top and tie the wreath to the door easier.

The key to making a busy "bric-a-brac" look cohesive versus a "car-crash" is staying within a color palette, and then using some neutrals through out to break it up. I used all fall, warm colors with deep greens. My neutrals were whites and creams, with some hints of a black gingham. It was super easy and you can sit and tie away while your hubby is watching Man V.S. Wild or sports stuff. You'll have it done in no time!

 

Fall Ribbon and Fabric "Bric-a-Brac" Wreath

 

Supplies

12"-14" wooden embroidery hoop
A lot of ribbon, trim, tulle and fabric strips, about 1" in width and about 8" in length
Scissors
Extra fabric or wire edged ribbon for an embellishment on top
Thin ribbon or string for hanging

Directions

Step1- Tighten the screw on top of the hoop. You're going to use this as a way to tie an embellishment and for easy hanging.



Step 2- Start tying the pieces all around the hoop, double tying if you have enough length. Push the tied ribbons up tightly against each other and keep going around until it's all filled. Keep filling pushing until you can't push any ties up against each other any more. Pushing them tightly allows for that full, fluffy look. 



Step 3- In places, use ribbons and thin trim scraps tied on top of some of your fabric ties, being careful not to flatten the strips underneath. This adds extra fullness in places as well as adds different texture and interest. Careful to leave the screw tightener open and uncovered.

Step 4- Around the screw tightener, tie a decorative bow on top. 

 Step 5- Through the screw, thread a long thin ribbon or string and tie the wreath to your door or wall.


RECIPE: Velvety Fresh Garden Tomato Pasta Sauce

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Tomatoes are still going gang busters in my yard, but all I see everywhere is apple this and pumpkin spice that.

Well, I always was a little rebellious. And I've always been thrifty. SO I am going to keep my SUMMER garden bounty going as long as possible, and this tomato sauce I created uses A LOT of your tomatoes all at once! It's all the good things of summer slathered all over a carbo-loaded plate of blissful pasta. Yum.

A couple things to note, I used a hand crank food mill. I actually got mine a thrift store years ago, and it's the exact same one that my Italian mother has. It's a nice way to puree your sauce while keeping out the seeds, but not over-process it. If you don't have one of these gadgets (ahemm, get one!) you could use a food processor and then run the sauce through a sieve as an alternative approach before finishing, but that approach may liquefy the sauce too much, so be careful. That's why I like my food mill. It's perfect every time. The other thing that's nice about this sauce is the trick I learned from an old Williams Sonoma cookbook, where you add a touch of butter for some body and creaminess to the sauce before serving. It makes things super velvety and delicious.

Velvety Fresh Garden Tomato Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

Sauce base
4-5 lbs. of garden tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

The finish
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt, taste and adjust seasoning at the end
3 Tbsp. butter, cut into tablespoons

Pasta, cooked according to package directions
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions
 
Base:





In a deep saute pan melt 3 Tbsp. butter. Add the onion and garlic, and cook on medium high heat. When things are soft and beginning to caramelize, add the carrots. Cook for about 10 min. or until the carrots are soft, then add the chopped tomatoes with all the juices. Cook on medium high heat until you get a good simmer, that lower the heat and add the basil, oregano and seasonings. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The tomatoes will have broken down and things should be melded together. Turn off heat and let cool down for 15-20 minutes.


Once cooled, ladle sauce into a food mill over a large bowl. Discard remnants left in the mill as you go, and remember to scrape bottom of the food mill into your sauce, there's yummy stuff down there! Sauce base can be stored in the fridge for a few days before finishing.

Finishing:
 

In the same deep pan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and crushed garlic, and cook until well softened. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer for 2-5 minutes, reducing it down before adding your milled sauce and the chicken stock. Raise the heat to get a good simmer. Then lower the heat so it continues to have a rolling simmer. Add salt and pepper, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. The sauce will thicken up and be reduced down to about 2/3rds. The last 15 minutes of cooking time add the basil. When sauce is ready, stir in a tablespoon of butter, one at time, ensuring each addition is completely melted and incorporated before adding the next one. Serve over cooked pasta, and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.


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