Every Christmas Eve before bed my mom preps French toast for Christmas Day breakfast. This make-ahead French toast sits overnight and cooks entirely in the oven, allowing you time to open presents, prepare other morning treats or a leisurely cup of coffee! You can also make the Cranberry Ginger Compote in advance or cook it while the French toast bakes.
To complete your breakfast or brunch serve the French toast with Oven Roasted Bacon. Adjust oven racks to fit in the upper and lower thirds. With the bacon on the bottom rack and French toast on top, together they bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Citrus French Toast
serves 4 to 6
Unsalted butter, for dish
2 baguettes, each about 12 inches, cut into 1-inch slices
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided
zest of 1 small navel orange (save the juice for mimosas)
1 batch Cranberry Ginger Compote
Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. In the dish place as many bread slices as you can fit in a single layer, cut side up, arranging them so they are very snug.
In a medium bowl combine the eggs and maple syrup. Whisk in 1 1/4 cups cream and orange zest and pour over the bread slices. Keep in mind the bread will soften in the egg and cream mixture overnight, so you may be able to squeeze one more slice into the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight, or 8 hours, in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Flip each slice of bread over in the dish, allowing the other side of bread to soak up any remaining cream mixture. Bake until French toast begins to turn a very light golden color and is slightly puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes (if cooking with Oven Roasted Bacon see above note). Do not overbake.
Meanwhile, beat remaining 1/2 cup cream, with a whisk or electric mixer, until soft peaks form. Serve French toast with whipped cream and Cranberry Ginger Compote.
Enjoy this Citrus French Toast as part of my Christmas Breakfast.