Mother’s Day Brunch

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. This Mother’s Day, serve up the perfect brunch to show any of the moms in your life the love they deserve with this easy yet delicious overnight French toast recipe. Make the night before and bake the morning of. To complete the meal, pair with a light arugula salad, applewood smoked bacon or rosemary roasted potatoes. The gesture will not only be yummy but appreciated, and remembered for years to come.

Overnight Bourbon Pecan Pie French Toast Casserole from BlueStar

Overnight Bourbon Pecan Pie French Toast Casserole

From the Kitchen of Chef Susan Swanson

6-8 servings

For the French Toast:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 large crusty sourdough or French bread cut into 1″ cubes (if fresh leave out overnight to dry out)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed and divided

For the Pecan Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pecans roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions for the French Toast:

  1. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the bread cubes into the prepared baking dish – set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the milk, heavy cream, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, eggs, egg yolks, bourbon, vanilla and half of the brown sugar and beat until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture over the bread slowly and evenly to make sure all of the bread is coated.  Gently toss.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining brown sugar.
  5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. When ready to bake remove from the refrigerator and allow 15 – 30 minutes for it to come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  7. Place in oven still covered with foil, bake covered for 35 minutes.  Then carefully uncover and continue baking another 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm in the center.
  8. Top with gooey pecan topping and serve warm.
  9. Other options include topping with fresh grated orange zest, whipped cream or ice cream.

Instructions for the Pecan Syrup:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat melt the butter.
  2. Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring with a whisk until the sugar has dissolved and mixture is bubbling – about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, heavy cream, maple syrup and salt.  Whisk to combine.
  4. Add in the pecans and using a rubber spatula fold them into the liquid mixture until they are completely coated.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon and vanilla.  Pour over the baked French toast.