Several years ago I discovered Ree Drummond’s recipe for French Toast Casserole and I love it! Miss Bee requests this yummy comfort food on Christmas morning, and pretty much any holiday morning you can name. I’ve also baked it to take to sick or grieving friends. It’s super easy to put together the night before, chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake the next morning.
I like to change up the bread, too. Sometimes when I find specialty bread at a bakery or the grocery store I will experiment. The last time I made it with croissant bread from La Boulangerie San Fransisco. It makes for a rich, buttery base to the creamy custard. I’ve also used cinnamon raisin bread, apricot white chocolate bread from Central Market.
Another twist instead of syrup is making a fruit coulis. A coulis is a sauce made with fruit or vegetables. I made a blueberry coulis for the french toast and OMG, it was amazing. In fact, you can put the leftover sauce in a mason jar and spoon it over ice cream or vanilla cheesecake. I am going to try this recipe with peaches or strawberries.
Recipe for Ree Drummond’s French Toast Casserole:
FOR THE FRENCH TOAST:
1 loaf crusty sourdough or French bread (After making this several times, an entire loaf of bread is more than you want, maybe just use 3/4 of the loaf)
8 whole eggs
2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
FOR THE TOPPING:
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. firmly-packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh fruit (optional)
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into
cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour
evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours or
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if
desired. Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture until the mixture
resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove
the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top. (If you’re
using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a
softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.
*I have successfully halved this recipe when I just want enough for 3-4 people.
2 c. fresh blueberries
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
This casserole is perfectly paired with crispy bacon, rosemary roasted potatoes, and fresh fruit. Happy eating!