Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nicole’s Stuffed French Toast with Orange-Pecan Filling

If you check the dictionary definition of decadence, this is what youll find. This week we’ll be serving up three very different kinds of French Toast and an Orange-Brunch Strata with Cranberries and Walnuts. So here’s the first recipe! Brunch, anyone?

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
3 eggs
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.

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