Everyone needs a few good make-ahead breakfast recipes in their arsenal. This one is my favorite.
This baked Creme Brûlée French Toast checks all the boxes:
- It is prepared in advance. You simply bake it when you are ready to eat it.
- It feeds a crowd.
- It can be easily transported to a brunch potluck.
- Kids and adults both love it.
The trick to this recipe is to prepare it just before you head to bed.
In our house, this is a Christmas morning favorite. Yes, this means that I prepare it AFTER we’ve hosted the entire family for dinner… AFTER the dishes are done…and AFTER I’ve had a few glasses of wine…and I STILL consider it to be totally doable! Pushing to do this last bit of prep means that I can sit with everyone and enjoy the festivities on Christmas morning over a lazy cup of coffee – without hustling around in ‘hostess mode.’
Couple this with an easy-to-prepare savory breakfast casserole like Danielle Walker’s Sausage Breakfast Casserole – perhaps some fruit or berries, some fresh squeezed juice, champagne or coffee. You’ve got a beautiful and delicious low-stress brunch buffet spread that YOU can sit down and enjoy with everyone else. What would be better? [Ok, a personal chef…but where is the fun in that?]
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Creme Brulee French Toast
This is the perfect make-ahead dish for a houseful of overnight guests. It is also perfect for a potluck brunch.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 loaf white bread brioche, or country-style bread
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp Grand Marnier substitute with more vanilla, if preferred
- 1/4 tsp salt
In a heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat. Stir until smooth. Pour into a 13 x 9" baking dish.
Trim crusts off bread. Arrange the bread in one or more layers in the baking dish. Squeeze the bread slightly for a snug fit in the pan. (The number of layers you have will depend upon the thickness of your bread. Standard sandwich bread will result in two layers.)
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until well combined. Pour over the bread. Cover and bread mixture and chill for at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. (TIP: Throw this together just before you go to bed. It will be all ready to bake for breakfast in the morning.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring bread mixture to room temperature.
Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven until puffed and the edges are pale golden brown. 35-40 minutes.
This recipe was originally found in an old Gourmet magazine. It was in the 'You Asked for It' column. This dish was popularized by the Inn at Sunrise Point in Camden, Maine.