Pumpkin French Toast

I got this recipe from my smart, crafty friend and co-worker Jenny. She and I are in the same boat: we have crazy jobs and little kids. We also both try hard to get a homemade meal on the table every now and then. She’s WAY more organized than I am and I’m always picking up fantastic tips from her — like how to get free airfare for four to Disney, how to make great Shutterfly books and to always keep a stash of instant oatmeal packets in your desk.

This pumpkin bread french toast is a modification of a Weight Watchers recipe, apparently. I didn’t let that deter me.

I knew Barrak and Greta would not be bellying up to this breakfast. Barrak’s not a sweet breakfast eater and Greta, while being an avid waffle-eater, isn’t interested in expanding her breakfast repertoire. I didn’t care. I was making it for me, and possibly Magnus.

I’m always looking for that quintessential Christmas morning breakfast. The nostalgic dish my kids will look forward to when they’re away at college. The one they’ll tell their own kids about: “I remember my mom always made ham & swiss quiche / homemade cinnamon rolls / egg souffle / whatever on Christmas morning.”

I would make this on Christmas morning. A total crowd-pleaser.

If we had a crowd, mind you. Our Christmas mornings are not the big, Folgers commercial affairs I picture in my head when planning the menu.  They’re uncivilized massacres of gift wrap, witnessed by Barrak, me and Grandpa Jon. And the kids are still so young, they just want a bowl of dry Fruit Loops.

Last Christmas, Grandpa brought his homemade sausage gravy and biscuits. The gravy is spicy and rich and savory, and the cream biscuits are just the right weight: not too light, not too dense. Damn, they’re good. We’re not lacking good food. We’re lacking the crowd.

About the pumpkin french toast, it’s not as eggy as French toast. It’s more like a bread pudding, with the cinnamon and ginger flavors of pumpkin pie.

The recipe calls for:

  • loaf of Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • chopped pecans
  • brown sugar

You chop the whole loaf into cubes (this was weirdly so fun), throw the cubes in a buttered lasagna dish (9″ x 12″), whisk the next 4 ingredients together, then pour it over the bread cubes. You can do this the night before, and let the whole thing soak in the fridge overnight. (In fact, I think that’s what you’re supposed to do but I missed that little detail. It still turned out great.) Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans and bake it at 350 for 35 minutes. Serve yourself a big square, pour on some warm syrup and enjoy!

See how I nearly devoured it before remembering to take a picture?

Pumpkin french toast for breakfast this morning. So satisfying!

Pumpkin french toast for breakfast this morning. So satisfying!

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