Rockin’ French Toast!

6 Apr

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed some great food throughout the day. We started our morning with an Easter egg hunt around the house, followed by some wonderful French toast that you put together the night before and then just pop in the oven in the morning. It sure makes a holiday morning a breeze — and I wasn't stuck in the kitchen cooking while the kids were hunting for eggs.

My family has often enjoyed the traditional overnight French toast that's made with a lot of butter and brown sugar. This is a tasty twist on that — and it's vegan! It's not something you should have every day, since it also has plenty of (vegan) butter and sugar, but it's the perfect treat for a special morning. It's ooey, gooey and delicious!
I would recommend using a thick sourdough bread for this. I forgot to get a loaf while shopping on Saturday, so I used slices of Texas Toast that I had in the freezer — which is nice and thick, but a little too squishy for this recipe. We enjoyed ours with sliced fresh oranges on the side (although Jason asked where the sausage was!).

BAKED APPLE FRENCH TOAST
serves 5-6
Base:
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 
1/3 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup toasted pecans (optional)
Bread:
1 cup apple juice
2/3 cup plain almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt or coconut milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10-12 slices day-old sourdough bread
cinnamon for topping
Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saute pan, melt "butter" and add apple slices. Cook over medium heat until apples are starting to soften. Stir in sugars, maple syrup and cinnamon and cook until apples are soft. Pour onto the baking sheet and spread evenly across the bottom. Sprinkle with pecans, if using.
In a flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the apple juice, milk, yogurt and vanilla. Dip each slice of bread in the batter to coat evenly and layer on top of the apples so that the slices of bread are butting up to each other and all of the apples are covered with bread. Drizzle any remaining batter on top. Sprinkle each slice with cinnamon.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes or until nicely browned. To serve, slide a spatula under a slice of bread and the apples. Flip upside-down onto the plate so the apples are on top. Drizzle with maple syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
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