Overnight French Toast Casserole with Peaches, Bacon and Bourbon Pecans
One thing you that you will learn about me is that I am not a big fan of breakfast. Eggs? Nah. Pancakes? Meh. Bacon? Okay, fine but that’s really the only exception (I’m only human, after all). I am, however, a big fan of breakfast casseroles. Something about the combination of protein, carbs and sweets just seems more like a complete meal to me. Maybe it’s the fact that it reminds me of dinner casseroles, which are pretty much my all-time favorite food to eat.
When I stumbled upon this recipe in a cookbook that I received a few Christmases ago, I knew – breakfast lover or not – that it was something that I wanted to try for my blog. French Toast Casserole with Peaches, Bacon and Bourbon Pecans. French Toast. Bacon. Peaches. Bacon. Bourbon. Bacon. How could anyone resist?!
My favorite part of this recipe is the bourbon pecans, which are both the easiest and most difficult step to complete. They’re easy in that they are simple enough to make – just combine the sugar, bourbon and pecans in a skillet and simmer until the liquid reduces, then drain and let cool. They’re difficult in that you will have to use some serious restraint to stop yourself from eating them all instead of actually adding them to the dish.
The recipe that follows was adapted from Southern Cooking for Company by Nicki Pendleton Wood. I use the term ‘adapted’ loosely because I actually made very few modifications. I used a smaller loaf of bread, because that’s what Publix had available. I added more bacon and pecans, because both are delicious and more is more, right? I also added bourbon directly to the French Toast mixture, because…well, you know why. Boozy food blog and all that.
French Toast Casserole with Peaches, Bacon and Bourbon Pecans
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 loaf of French Bread 12 oz.
- 6 large eggs
- ½ c. heavy cream
- 1 c. milk
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp. bourbon
- 1 c. pecans
- ½ c. maple syrup plus additional for serving
- 2 ½ c. canned slice peaches in juice
- 1 ½ c. light brown sugar
- 5 slices bacon
Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a baking dish (I used a 9” square pan).
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and add two tablespoons of the bourbon, the heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, mixing well.
Cube the French bread into 1-inch pieces and add to the egg mixture.
Pour the mixture into the greased pan, cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
Add the pecans, maple syrup and remaining two tablespoons of bourbon, stirring to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until most of the liquid has reduced. Remove the pecans with a slotted spoon and place on a dish to cool. Do not clean the skillet.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Coat the peach slices in brown sugar and spread evenly in a single layer over the casserole. Sprinkle the pecans over the top and bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon on low heat using the same skillet that was used for the pecans. When crisp, place on paper towels to absorb the grease. Crumble when cool.
When the casserole is finished baking, turn broiler on for 1-2 minutes to brown the pecans.
Serve with the crumbled bacon and syrup.
This recipe was adapted from Southern Cooking for Company by Nicki Pendleton Wood. For picky eaters (ahem, husbands), you can skip the peaches and the result is still fantastic.