Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole with Caramel-Pecan Topping

Do not substitute lowfat or skim milk for the whole milk in this recipe. To ensure a sticky and crisp topping, make the topping just before baking. Walnuts can be substituted for the pecans.
Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole with Caramel-Pecan Topping
Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole with Caramel-Pecan Topping

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • Casserole

  • 1

    Loaf (16-ounce) supermarket French or Italian bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • 8

    Large eggs

  • 2

    Cups whole milk

  • 2

    Cups half-and-half

  • 1

    Tablespoon sugar

  • 2

    Teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2

    Teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2

    Teaspoon nutmeg

  • Topping

  • 12

    Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened

  • 1 1/3

    Cups packed light brown sugar

  • 3

    Tablespoons corn syrup

  • 5

    Ounces pecans, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

Directions

1. For the casserole: Adjust two oven racks to the upper and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Arrange the bread in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake until dry and lightly golden, about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Allow the bread to cool. 2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or casserole dish of similar size) with butter. Layer the baked bread tightly in the prepared dish (you should have two layers). Whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pour evenly over the bread. Press lightly on the bread to submerge. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. 3. For the topping: When ready to bake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup together until smooth, then stir in the pecans. 4. To assemble and bake: Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and unwrap. Spoon the topping over the casserole, then spread it in an even layer. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until puffed and golden, about 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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