One of our favorite winter breakfast dishes using in-season oranges; and the aroma that fills the house is amazing! It’s a breakfast that is often requested by returning guests.
This French toast recipe is super easy as most of the preparation can be done the night before and you bake it so don’t have to watch it and flip it on a griddle. It’s also easy to do for a crowd because all the pieces are ready at the same time.
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg , freshly ground is best
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup Triple Sec , orange-flavored liqueur
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 12 1-inch thick slices French bread , if time, let dry out on counter for up to 1 hour
- 1/3 cup butter , melted
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
Mix eggs, orange juice, milk sugar, nutmeg, vanilla and Triple Sec in a medium bowl.
Dip each bread slice in the egg mixture, coating each side and place in a single layer on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet (or the like). Pour any remaining egg mixture over the French toast in the pan.
Cover and refrigerate to soak overnight (or at least 6 hours)
Preheat oven to 375.
Melt butter in small saucepan, Zest Oranges and chop pecans
Spray a [clean] baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (or use seasoned baking stone, parchment paper or Silpat – see my Cookie post about Silpat).
Arrange soaked bread slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Brush melted butter over bread slices. Sprinkle with orange zest. Top with pecan pieces.
Bake for ~ 30 minutes or until golden brown and crusty on top. I turn the baking sheets about 1/2 way through baking because the back of my oven is hotter than the front.
Serve with warm orange maple, butter syrup. To doctor up your maple syrup, use the saucepan you used to melt the butter to heat up syrup. Squeeze in the juice from the ends of the fresh oranges.
Slice a small portion of orange from each end to give a flat surface for orange to sit on. Then slice orange in half. With a knife, loosen meat of orange by carving between meat and peel of orange all the way around the interior perimeter of the orange. With the meat of orange loose, remove from the peel and break at “seams” or cut the round into 4-6 pieces, like a pie.
Set empty orange “bowl” on a plate or in a bowl, loosely pile orange pieces back into bowl alone or combine with another fruit such as blueberries, grapes or raspberries. Serve.
This is great accompanied by a nice salty meat such as Polish Sausage or Ham and an ‘orange bowl’ of fruit.