Your brunch game is about to sky rocket.
This peach-stuffed, crumb-topped, baked French toast is everything you ever wanted in a summer brunch dish. It’s like the most decadent, peachy keen French toast you’ve ever had…wrapped in a crumb cake. And best of all, you can make it all ahead of time, which means stress-free entertaining.
Perfect, ripe, summer peaches are the inspiration for this French toast. The markets are exploding with peaches of all kinds, and I’m compulsively buying them like nobody’s business. I mean, just look at these beauties. How could anyone resist? They look like summer, smell like honey, and taste like golden California sunshine.
If we were playing Catchphrase, I’d say, “Peaches!” and you would naturally say, “Cream!” right? Yes, very good. We make a good team. Well, the cream in this dish is a lightly sweetened cream cheese and ricotta mixture, reminiscent of cannoli cream. This mixture gets spread over slices of challah bread (you could really use any bread you’d like, brioche would push the decadence up another dial, or good crusty French bread would be classic), and melds with the bread as it bakes, adding a wonderful creaminess as the peaches melt in.
To assemble this easy, overnight baked French toast, we start with a layer of the bread, slathered with the cream cheese/ricotta mixture, and then a layer of those gorgeous sliced peaches.
Repeat with another layer of bread with cream cheese/ricotta, filling in any empty corners with torn pieces of bread.
Top with a second layer of peaches.
And end with your third and final layer of bread, this time with the cream cheese/ricotta facing down. Pour over your liquid mixture of eggs, milk, melted butter, maple syrup, and vanilla, cover and let it all sit in the fridge overnight. As you get your beauty rest, your peaches and cream and bread will get cozy and soak up all that goodness.
While we’re planning ahead, like the perfectly put together and organized hostess we are, let’s go ahead and prep that crumb topping. I like to use cake flour rather than all purpose flour because it results in a more tender crumb, but if you’re in a pinch, APF with a few tablespoons of cornstarch mixed in will work just fine, you’ll just have a crunchier, drier topping. The cake flour version though, is out of this world. Put the crumb mixture in an airtight container and stash it in the fridge too.
When you arise, all bright-eyed and refreshed, simply sprinkle the crumb mixture over the French toast and bake it off until it’s GBD: golden, brown, and delicious.
You will look like a domestic goddess when this baked French Toast hits the table. Your guests may be confused. Is it a crumb cake? A peach streusel? Bread pudding? Let’s just call it French toast so we can eat it for breakfast, mmkay?
This baked French toast is stuffed with summer peaches and generously finished with a streusel crumb topping. It’s like peaches and cream meets French toast, wrapped in a crumb cake. You’ll be the hero of any brunch gathering with this make-ahead, decadent, peachy keen dish.
I find that actual cake flour works best, but if in a pinch, use a mixture of all purpose flour and cornstarch. For every 1 cup APF, take out 2 tablespoons APF and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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This post was published on KQED’s Bay Area Bites on July 10, 2013.