Not Your Mother’s Casseroles
Not Your Mother's Casseroles by Faith Durand
NOTE: When we initially published this recipe, I accidentally paired it with the wrong picture. It's been replaced with a much more accurate photo - the one seen above. I apologize, and hope you enjoy the bake. - Kris, Food Editor, 3/13
Unapologetically rich and universally tempting, this warmly spiced breakfast bake from Faith Durand's Not Your Mother's Casseroles (Harvard Common Press) is a surefire winner with kids, adults, and everyone in between. Make it for a holiday or family brunch, and fill your house with the scent of awesomeness.
12- to 16-ounce loaf good-quality white bread (such as Italian or French bread from the bakery), crust removed, cut in half lengthwise, and then into thin slices.
For the custard:
5 large eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the cinnamon cheese filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-x-13-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
2. Layer half of the bread slices in the baking dish, overlapping and wedging them in tightly so they are in an almost solid layer.
3. To make the custard, whisk the eggs until fully beaten, then whisk in the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour half of this custard over the bread in the baking dish, letting it settle in and soak the bread thoroughly. Set aside the rest of the custard.
4. To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the butter, egg, cinnamon, and sugar. Beat until very soft and whipped. Spread over the layer of bread and custard in the pan. Layer the rest of the bread over the cream cheese filling and pour the rest of the custard on top. (At this point, the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
5. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, for about 50 minutes, or until it is firmly set. Cool for 15 minutes, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles © 2011 by Faith Durand. Reprinted with permission of Harvard Common Press.
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