French Toast Casserole
The perfect make-ahead brunch recipe, you can enjoy French toast with all your guests at the table instead of being stuck in the kitchen!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 pounds breakfast sausage or Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
- 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
- 3-4 leaves sage, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 stick butter, divided
- 1 loaf Pullman bread, cubed and toasted (about 5-6 cups)
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 2 apples, diced
- 12 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup maple syrup, divided
- 3 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Peel of 1 lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick
Pre-heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan with EVOO, about 2 tablespoons.
Add in the breakfast sausage, thyme and sage and cook until crisp and golden brown. Let cool.
Generously grease a 9-inch x13-inch casserole dish. In the dish, toss the sausage and herb mixture with cubed bread, pecans and apples.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, 1/2 cup of the maple syrup, milk, cinnamon and salt and whisk until blended. Pour over the bread and sausage mixture, making sure it’s covered evenly. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight. Dot the top of the casserole with 1 stick of butter.
The next day, pre-heat the oven to 375ºF. Bake, covered, for 1 hour, until puffed, then remove the foil and bake uncovered until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Over medium heat, in a small saucepot, combine the remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup, lemon peel and cinnamon stick until warmed through.
To serve, scoop the casserole onto a plate and serve with the warm maple syrup on top.