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Author Notes: This recipe is a combination of a beloved bread pudding holiday treat and a baked French toast recipe. - cookwithsusan
- 1/2 cup Orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup diced dates
- 1/2 cup diced apricots
- Butter for baking dish
- 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 pound Egg bread loaf, 16 ounces, sliced to 8 pieces, with a 2-inch pocket cut in each piece
- 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Orange zest
- 3/4 cup Maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Butter, melted
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- Combine liqueur, water, dates, and apricots in bowl and allow fruit to absorb liquid for 1 hour; and then drain fruit and reserve liquid.
- Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Place dish on large cookie sheet.
- Mix fruit with Neufchatel cheese and spread in pocket of each piece of bread. Arrange slices in bottom of baking dish, overlapping if necessary.
- Whisk cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl to make a custard mixture.
- Pour custard over bread pieces, pressing down gently with spatula. Let stand 25 minutes before baking.
- Bake 50 minutes to an hour until lightly browned and firm to touch. Cool while making syrup, and then serve with warm syrup.
- Syrup: Combine reserved liqueur-flavored liquid, maple syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan and cook until volume is reduced by one-third.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best French Toast
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