You are not going to believe how easy and GOOD this is:
[SIZE=“4”]Lemony Bread-Pudding French Toast
Adapted from [COLOR=“YellowGreen”]Lemon Zest [/COLOR]by Lori Longbotham.
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
5 large eggs (original recipe uses 6 eggs)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 slices white bread (I used Wonder Bread, but Lori suggests using Pepperidge Farm Original White bread.)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
pure maple syrup
Bring the milk just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest. Allow to steep for 10 minutes and then pour the milk through a sieve to remove the zest. Allow the milk to cool for an additional 15 minutes.
Whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the milk and whisk well.
Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Arrange the bread in the dish in 4 stacks of 3 slices. You may have to squish the sides of the bread together to get it all to fit in.
Slowly pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread. You may have to stop every once and a while to allow the liquid to seep in. Once you’ve poured it all in, press down on the bread with your fingers to submerge the bread. Cover the dish and refrigerate it overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar into a paste. Spread over the top of the french toast.
Bake the french toast for an hour or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let the french toast cool for 10 minutes and then serve with maple syrup and whipped cream or crème fraîche if you have it!
Note: This recipe serves 4 to 6 people. The only recommendation that I would make that is different from the original recipe is that you put the dish on a baking sheet before putting it into the oven. It rises quite a bit and you may have some liquid fall over the side onto the floor of your oven. The baking sheet will protect your oven from any spills.