Baked Banana 'French Toast' With Pecan Sauce
- Pecan Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 10 12 slices white sandwich bread cut in fourths, crusts trimmed
- 5 firm-ripe bananas peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur* optional
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 recipe Pecan Sauce (recipe follows)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum (optional)
Preheat the oven to broil.
In a small mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the butter and the brown sugar. Sprinkle the sugar butter mixture evenly over the bottom of an 8?-by-8 ?-inch square metal baking pan. Lay the banana slices in one even layer over the bottom of the pan. Dot the remaining tablespoon of butter over the bananas. Broil the bananas and sugar in the oven until the sugar is melted and the bananas are caramelized, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pan to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, banana liqueur (if desired) and cinnamon.
Lay half of the bread slices over the bananas to form one even layer of bread covering the bananas. Pour half of the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Repeat this process for a second layer of bread and pour the remaining egg mixture over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the French toast for 20 minutes, remove the foil and return to the oven until golden brown and puffed, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and allow to sit until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes. Serve in bowls with pecan sauce ladled over the top.