Fruit Bliss Baked French Toast

My family loves French toast, but I have passed on serving it at brunch gatherings because it requires time at the stove when I would prefer to be chatting with guests. Until now. All the prep work for our Fruit Bliss Baked French Toast is done a day in advance so all you need to do on party day is sprinkle the delicious pecan crumble on top and bake for an hour. Et voilà! Brunch is served to rave reviews.

The combination of the cinnamony bread, the tangy Fruit bliss puree, and the crunchy, nutty crumble makes this French toast unique. And both the Fruit Bliss puree and the pecan crumble can be repurposed for other dishes. For some new twists, try spreading the puree on toast and topping your cobbler with this crumble. Play around, have fun, and enjoy!

Ingredients

For the French Toast:

1 cup unfiltered apple cider

1/3 cup Fruit Bliss plums

1/4 cup Fruit Bliss dates

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

8 (1 1/2-ounce) slices Pullman bread cut and half with crusts removed

For the crumble:

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preparation

1. Bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup (about 4 minutes). Add Fruit Bliss plums and dates. Let stand 10 minutes. Puree in blender.

2. In a mixing bowl combine milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk.

3. Coat a baking or casserole dish with cooking spray. Line bottom of dish with half of bread in a single layer. Pour half of egg mixture over bread; let stand 1 minute. Spread Fruit Bliss puree over bread. Top with remaining bread and pour remaining egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, flour, oats, pecans, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Mix in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 350°.

6. Sprinkle pecan mixture evenly over bread mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut and serve.