Nicole’s Stuffed French Roast with Orange-Pecan Filling:
8 slices French bread (see Note), each sliced 2-½ in. thick
4 oz. (125 g) cream cheese, softened
¼ c. chopped pecans
3 tbsp. orange marmalade or apricot jam
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
½ c. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
Icing sugar (“confectioners” or “powdered” sugar), as required
Preheat oven to 475 deg. F. Starting at the edge of each thick piece of bread, use a serrated knife to cut a “pocket” midway into the slice. Combine cream cheese, pecans, and marmalade or jam. Carefully open the bread pocket of each thick slice, spreading ⅛ of cream cheese mixture into it. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, zest, orange juice, and vanilla with a whisk or hand blender. Pour into pie pan and dip both sides of bread into mixture.
Brush melted butter onto 9 x13-in. (23 x 33 cm) baking pan. Transfer dipped bread slices to pan and bake 6 min. Turn over and bake a further 4 min., until golden. Dust with sifted icing sugar. Serve hot with maple syrup and (optional) bacon and sausages.
Note: Use a thick baguette, not a thin one.
Make-Ahead Note: This dish freezes well. Lay stuffed, dipped bread slices on parchment-lined cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 hr. Transfer to labeled, covered plastic container to continue freezing up to one month.
Tomorrow: Super Simple Batter-Dipped French Toast.