Baked Flan French Toast is the most decadent dish that I make on special occasions like Christmas, Easter, or when I accidentally leave hard-boiled Easter eggs in my husband’s car over the weekend (wince). My mom taught me how to make this many years ago. It is her most requested recipe by friends and family, and she’ll be happy that I’m posting it to save her the trouble. Not many people can resist this light and fluffy custard french toast anchored by a delectably gooey butter caramel sauce. Did I mention this is a fix it and forget it dish? That’s right, just prepare it overnight, and throw it in the oven in the morning.
This recipe’s origins are from a B&B called The Inn at Sunrise Point in Camden, Maine. Their signature french toast is made with a baguette with the crusts cut off. They call it creme brulee french toast, but I think that the name is a misnomer since the dish has more characteristics of flan. My mom and I have experimented with it ever since. First, my mom keeps the crust on, and in slices, which helps secure the pieces to the brown sugar butter. When the pieces are cut smaller, they tend to float in the egg mixture, and don’t absorb all of the caramel goodness. If you want to slim it down a little, you can substitute whole milk for half and half. I don’t recommend using anything less than whole milk, or else you’ll be taking away from the richness of the dish.
You can also add seasonal fruits to the custard. In this case, I added orange zest from my On The Vine csa produce box from North Scottsdale Farmers Market. Finally, try this recipe with fresh free range eggs from a local farmer like Circle Key Farms. Locally sourced free range eggs have the benefits of seven times more beta carotene, one-third less cholesterol, one-fourth less saturated fat, and 21 times more omega-3 fatty acids.
Go ahead, and make this for your next special occasion!
Quick tip: Should you have any left over french toast, remove remaining pieces with a spatula, and store in a container with caramel side facing up. Otherwise it will stick to the pan.
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 6
- On medium heat, melt butter and sugar in medium saucepan. Add corn syrup.
- Pour the caramel mixture in a 9x11 pan, spread evenly on the bottom. Arrange french bread slices on top of mixture immediately before it hardens.
- In a large mixing bowl mix eggs, half and half or whole milk, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest, and salt together until smooth.
- Pour custard mixture on top of bread slices in the pan, evenly covering each slice. Cover pan with aluminum foil, and store in the fridge overnight (or at least 2 hours).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and remove pan from fridge to bring to room temperature.
- Bake uncovered for approximately 40 minutes, or until the crusts are golden. Serve immediately.