Breakfast and brunch are my favorite meals but it is often to hectic in the morning for me to cook a full and satisfying meal. Weekends provide ample opportunity but I am often torn between wanting to just sit and enjoy my coffee and feeling up for the challenge of whipping up a full meal. The solution? Enter the breakfast casserole. Whether sweet or savory, all of the work is done the night before with the only morning requirement being preheating the oven. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
BANANA PRALINE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
For the French Toast:
1 loaf crusty French bread
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Tear or cut the bread into bite sized chunks and place in the prepared pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla.
- Carefully fold in the banana slices then pour over the top of the bread taking care to make sure everything is submerged in the liquid.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Add the butter and toss to coat. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to proceed:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top.
- Bake, uncovered for 50 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve topped with additional butter and maple syrup.