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Fun With Food: Pecan Crumble French Toast

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This recipe just screams “Christmas morning,” and it can be prepared the night before to be tossed in the oven first thing. If you’re more of a traditionalist with your french toast (like me) you can substitute brioche for the challah.



French toast:

1-pound loaf challah, sliced 1″ thickfrench toastUnsalted butter, room temperature (for baking dish)4 large eggs4 large egg yolks2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


Pecan crumble:1/2 cup pecans

2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


For french toast:
Spread out bread on a rimmed baking sheet; let stand overnight.

Butter a 13×9″ baking dish. Cut bread so slices are similar in size. Arrange, overlapping, in rows in prepared dish.

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour over bread, pressing bread to help it soak up custard. Cover and chill at least 2 hours up to one full day.


For pecan crumble and assembly:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse pecans, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until nuts are coarsely chopped.

Scatter pecan crumble over soaked bread. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake until warmed through (a knife inserted into the center should feel warm to the touch), 25–30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until deeply browned, 35–40 minutes longer. Let cool slightly and serve with your choice of syrup.

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