Christmas is over and I’m looking forward to getting back into a normal routine of sorts. While Christmas is somewhat frenzied with preparation, New Year’s in our household is laid back and relaxing. I love having a simple brunch on New Year’s Day … and simple means fixing some type of breakfast casserole. This year I’m serving this light and wonderful Lemon Brioche French Toast with Berries. I’m sharing the recipe as part of a New Year’s hop with other bloggers. Visit their links below for more festive inspiration.
While most French Toast casseroles tend to be rustic and filling, this one is lighter and refreshing. The lemon zest gives it a wonderful flavor without being overpowering, and the raspberries help to balance the lemony flavor.
You can make this breakfast or brunch dish of Lemon Brioche French Toast with either brioche or challah bread. I had to special order the bread although the grocer typically keeps it in stock … they just don’t keep a lot of it in stock. The dish is quick-to-assemble and you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking, which is nice if you want to save yourself some time in the morning by compiling it the night before. Then it’s just a quick pop in the oven before you can enjoy. After a night out on the town to celebrate New Year’s Eve, you might appreciate simplicity the morning after.
A close-up photo shows the bread is light in texture, as opposed to dense and heavy. A lemony glaze is drizzled over the top, along with a handful of berries. I used raspberries but you could also choose blueberries if you want something sweeter.
Lemon Brioche French Toast with Berries
One 16 to 20-ounce loaf brioche or challah
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
10 ounces raspberries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 13×9 inch casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Slice bread into 1/2-inch slices, then cut each slice in half. Arrange half of the bread in overlapping layers in the baking dish. Sprinkle the bread with about half of the lemon zest.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in brown sugar. Whisk in the milk, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and remaining lemon zest. Pour half of the egg mixture over the bread, then layer the rest of the bread on top. Pour the rest of the mixture over the top. You can either bake the casserole immediately, or place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
When ready to bake, take the casserole out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before baking. Bake casserole for 30 minutes, or until slightly golden on top.
Whisk the lemon juice with the confectioner sugar, slowly adding the juice to the sugar. You might not need all of the lemon juice. You want the glaze somewhat thin. Drizzle glaze over hot casserole. Sprinkle raspberries on top and then lightly dust top of casserole with confectioners sugar.
Let casserole cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Visit the rest of the bloggers for more New Year’s inspiration!