French Toast Casserole
Mary Beth Albright of The Washington Post is making a tasty breakfast casserole with cherry compote.


  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 loaf challah bread, cut in 1⁄2 inch slices 4 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk 1 tsp. kosher salt

Cherry Compote

  • 1 lb. fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • Zest from one orange
  • One vanilla bean, split in half

Directions for Casserole

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put stick of butter in a 9x13 baking dish and melt the butter in the oven. Remove baking dish from oven. (Alternatively, pour melted butter into baking dish.) Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Place one layer of bread slices on bottom of baking dish, on top of melted butter (you can break up bread with your hands to cover the bottom). Sprinkle half of sugar/cinnamon mix over top. Place a second layer of bread slices on top. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and pour mixture into the baking dish, evenly over the bread slices. (If you have a four-cup liquid measuring cup, you can whisk the eggs and milk right in there, and save cleaning up an extra bowl.) Sprinkle the remaining sugar/cinnamon over the top of the bread, and sprinkle salt over all. Cover with foil.
  2. At this point, you can refrigerate the casserole overnight and bake it in the morning, so everyone can eat breakfast together. Or you can pop it right in the oven. Either way, bake the casserole, covered with foil, in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve. No need for syrup!

Directions for Cherry Compote

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the cranberries pop and sauce thickens. Allow to cool. Can make ahead and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Also great with turkey!

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