Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

pumpkinfrenchtoast2 I have been trying to work on this great pumpkin breakfast casserole recipe for a while but it has had to take the back burner to my kids. We have been hit with the worst respiratory virus I have ever had to deal with. All four of my kids have ended up with Asthma symptoms from this virus even after the illness has subsided. So it’s been inhalers, nebulizers, steroids and antibiotics all around here- all stuff which I hate but is sometimes necessary. My youngest is still fighting it and has been hit the hardest of all, missing 4 weeks of school already! Just praying she turns the corner for the better soon! But even with all this, I think I finally got this great Pumpkin French Toast Casserole right, just in time for Thanksgiving (or any) breakfast. 

pumkinfrtoast

  I based this off of one of my favorite french toast casserole recipes from The Pioneer Woman. I added in some pumpkin puree and the typical pumpkin pie seasonings and it really worked great, my family loves it. It really does taste similar to pumpkin pie and is a great fall and winter breakfast. It makes a lot as written- a full 9 x 13 pan but go ahead and half all the ingredients and make it in an 8 inch square pan if you want. The leftovers do reheat well. Also, adjust the seasonings to your taste- I kept it pretty  mild but go ahead and add more or less of what you like! And if you really want to go all out- double the topping!

 

Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
You can use any type of bread- crusty french bread is great but I also use sandwich bread with great results- it will just be a little softer.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 Cups of cubed or torn bread (pack it in measuring cup- you want the pan 2/3 to 3/4 full of bread)
  2. 8 eggs
  3. 2 Cups of whole Milk
  4. 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  5. 3/4 Cup Sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  7. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  5. dash of salt
  6. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of cold butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  7. 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
The night before
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan with butter. Place bread in pan evenly.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well combined. Whisk in pumpkin. Pour evenly over bread in pan. Press down to coat all the bread. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator overnight.
  3. For topping; in bowl of a food processor or in a medium bowl (if doing by hand) combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pulse or stir briefly to combine ingredients. Add in butter and pulse in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Or cut butter into flour mixture by hand using a pastry blender. Quickly stir in pecans, if using, by hand. Place mixture in an airtight container or bag and store in refrigerator until morning.
In the morning
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Evenly sprinkle topping over bread mixture in pan. Place in oven and bake until puffed up, golden and topping is crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven, cool a few minutes and serve with syrup if desired.
Notes
  1. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for several days. Reheats well.
  2. ****I am all in favor of using what you have- you can make this richer and creamier by adjusting the ratio of heavy cream to milk. Don't have heavy cream- use half and half to replace the heavy cream and some of the milk.
Amy Kay's Kitchen http://www.amykayskitchen.com/

Your comments are appreciated!