Sunday, December 15, 2019

Cherry Amaretto French Toast

Dr. C's Kiwanis club came to the house for their annual Christmas get together today.  Yesterday I decided to try out a new recipe that has been rolling around in my head.  I would deem it a success since there wasn't a crumb left!
Not only is this simple to make, but you also have to make it a day ahead of time, and then it's just pop into the oven for about 45 minutes and you have a beautiful delicious French toast.  These French toast bakes are great if you have a crowd in for the holidays---instead of flipping French toast, you can bake it and then serve it.
I started with frozen cherries (since fresh are out of season) from Trader Joe's.  Flavor them with Amaretto, of if you want to make it alcohol-free, I'd use a bit of almond extract or some orange juice.  I like the pairing of the cherries and almonds.  There is a layer of mascarpone, again, flavored with Amaretto or almond extract, and then custard soaked bread goes on the top.  Easy peasy.

Cherry Amaretto French Toast
Serves 6 to 8

4 cups pitted sweet cherries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Two 8-ounce containers mascarpone 
2 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno
2 tablespoons sugar
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One pound loaf Brioche, egg bread like Challah or Hawaiian Sweet bread sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds for garnish
1/4 cup unsalted butter
cinnamon sugar for garnish

Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and Amaretto.  Pour into the prepared pan. 

In another bowl stir together the mascarpone, Amaretto, and sugar.
Spread over the cherries in the pan. 

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, sugar and cinnamon.
Dip the brioche into the egg mixture and lay over the mascarpone in the pan.  
My local grocer sells this delicious brioche; it's awesome for French toast

I was able to do 2 layers.  Pour any remaining egg mixture over the bread evenly.  Sprinkle with the almonds, brush with the butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or up to 36 hours.  

Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 45 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling, and the top is browned.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.  

This holiday season welcoming friends and family in is one of my favorite pastimes, and this dish is a winner.  Buon appetito!

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