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Orange and apple French toast casserole is the perfect prep-ahead breakfast or brunch. Assemble the night before and bake it off the next morning.
Christmas morning is the happiest and most fun part of the year that deserves a delicious feast. This is Christmas morning comfort food. The day starts off with just my husband and I, but as the morning goes on, family, friends and neighbors drop by to exchange gifts or just Christmas wishes and this orange and apple French toast casserole is perfect for this time. I prepare the casserole the night before, then bake it off the next morning. It can stay warm in the oven, covered for hours so I can offer visitors a warm and comfy breakfast. After all, why not start the day as you mean to go on, eating!
Simply Orange orange juice is always a staple in my fridge. Both for drinking and cooking, it is one of the main ingredients for my Christmas morning orange and apple French toast casserole. Let me tell you a few reasons why Simply Orange is my go-to orange juice. In addition to a great taste, the juice is never from concentrate, never frozen, never sweetened with no colors, artificial flavors or preservatives. The way nature intended. Are those not all great reasons to choose the best juice? I know they are for me. My local grocery store Pavillions have a lovely large display of Simply Orange in the refrigerated juice section at the back of the store.
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Now lets get into this delicious recipe. Sweet fresh apples and orange are the main flavors for this casserole. Along with warming cinnamon, nutmeg and sweet raisins, this is the perfect way to start the most festive day. I used a buttery brioche bread for extra flavor, but you can use any of your favorite bread. I chose not to add any sweetener to the egg mix as there is vanilla and orange juice in there to sweeten and the special melted butter, orange and maple syrup drizzle also adds great flavor and sweetness. I like to have the people eating it control the sweetness level with maple syrup when serving it and having just eaten some (it’s so good), this was a good choice.
Here’s a handy step-by-step picture guide to show you how easy this recipe is.
Serving tip: If you have people coming and going (as happens to me), you can keep the casserole warm in a 200°F degree oven covered with foil. Just put it back into the oven after you’ve allowed it to cool down from its initial cooking.
Now that I’ve shared how I like to eat Christmas morning, share with my what your holiday traditions are.
- 12 slices brioche bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 medium red apples peeled and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup raisins
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup Simply Orange orange juice plus 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Small pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Simply Orange orange juice
Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
Add the bread, apples and raisins to the dish and mix well so the raisins and apples are evenly distributed.
In a bowl, whisk milk, eggs, 3/4 cup orange juice, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Pour the egg mix evenly over the bread so every piece gets moistened.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, if making ahead. Take out the fridge 20 minutes before baking to allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix the melted butter, maple syrup and 2 tablespoon orange juice in a bowl. Drizzle half over the bread (the rest is for serving).
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 40 more minutes until golden brown and remove from the oven.
Top with the chopped pecans and allow to cool slightly for 10 minutes. Serve warm with rest of the butter, maple syrup, orange juice mix.