Thursday, January 12, 2012

Orange French Toast Bake

One of my favorite things about January (besides the fresh start of a new year) is the abundance of deliciously sweet and tart citrus fruits widely available at low prices.  Clementines, navel oranges, ruby red grapefruit, tangerines. . . .I love them all.

This is a recipe I created combining a few other recipes that are family favorites.  The result was a hit on our family Sunday Brunch table.  Orange French Toast Bake is light, refreshing, and full of sweet, citrus flavor.  The key ingredients are the fresh grated orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Because it can be made ahead and then baked at a later time, it's easy to fix.  As a bonus, I made this recipe using a 1/2 loaf of Italian bread leftover from Thursday night's dinner and one of the oranges I bought on sale, so it was budget friendly too. 

Here's the recipe:

Orange French Toast Bake
1/2 loaf of Italian bread, cubed
3 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup orange juice (from concentrate is fine for this part of the recipe)
1/2 tsp orange peel (save the remainder of the orange for the syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp sugar

1.  Place the cubed bread in a greased casserole dish
2.  Whisk together the eggs, half and half, OJ, orange peel, vanilla, and sugar.
3.  Pour over the cubed bread.
4.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350.  While the oven is preheating, make the syrup to pour over the top.

Orange Syrup
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup juice from one orange (it's okay if it's a little more or a little less; the pulpy stuff makes it good!)

1.  Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.
2.  Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly.
3.  Pour about half of the syrup over the top of the cubed bread.  (It will look runny, but it won't make your bread soggy.)

Now it's time to bake. . . .

Place the casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes.

Serve the casserole with additional orange syrup.  We had our Orange French Toast Bake with ham slices and fresh fruit.  Enjoy!

Orange French Toast Bake
I'm sharing my recipe over at Jessica's Ultimate Recipe Swap on Life As Mom.  Come on over and see what other citrus based recipes we can drool over!  I've also shared on the Ingredient Spotlight: Oranges and Orange Juice over at Eat at Home.


What's your favorite citrus recipe?

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love the idea of orange syrup. That would be good over the french toast bake and all kinds of other things too. Yum!