Make-ahead French toast is a great time saver for brunch! Use extra thick cut “Texas” egg bread, if you can find it. Otherwise, use challah or brioche and slice the bread yourself.
Butter (for greasing large baking pan)
8 1-inch-thick egg bread slices
2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liqueur
Fresh strawberries or blueberries
Generously butter large baking or roasting pan.
Arrange bread in single layer in prepared pan, fitting closely together. Whisk half and half, eggs, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg to blend in medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover pan and refrigerate until bread absorbs mixture, turning once, after 3 hours. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°F. and position rack in lower third of the oven. Uncover pan and bake French toast until golden brown, puffed, and tester inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together stir orange juice and cornstarch in small saucepan until smooth. Add sugar and stir over medium heat until thick, about 8 minutes. Add butter, lemon juice, orange peel, and Triple Sec and whisk until butter melts.
Recut French toast into 8 separate slices. Serve with warm orange syrup and top with fresh berries, if desired.
YIELD: Serves 8