Raspberry Baked French Toast

RECIPE LIGHTLY ADAPTED FROM INA GARTEN

“This is the perfect French Toast for Christmas morning! With a slight scent of citrus the house will smell delightful. And the best part is you can prep it the night before.” – Bobbie Jo


Ingredients

Directions

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
10 extra-large eggs
2 3/4 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 cups (1-inch-diced) day-old challah bread
2 1/2 to 3 cups frozen Southwestern Produce raspberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
Pure maple syrup, for serving
1. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch oval baking dish with the butter and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, the brown sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and salt.

2. Spread half of the diced bread in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle on the frozen raspberries in one layer. Top with the rest of the bread and pour on the egg mixture, pressing down lightly to moisten the bread. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake it for 65 to 75 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is puffed and browned. Check after 45 minutes; if the top is getting too browned, cover it lightly with aluminum foil. Cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, dust with extra orange zest, and serve warm with maple syrup.

*NOTE: This can be prepared the night before and refrigerated overnight. Then just bake it off in the morning.