French Toast Casserole


7 day-old slices French bread (3/4 inch thick, 2 by 3 1/2 inches long)
1/4 cup golden raisins, also known as sultanas
2 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lightly packed, finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted, plus more for coating the pan
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter. Shingle the bread slices (i.e., overlap them slightly) in the pan and sprinkle the raisins on top.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, zest, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Pour the mixture over the bread and let soak for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the maple syrup and melted butter in a medium bowl until combined. Stir in the pecans and spoon the mixture evenly over the casserole. Place in the oven and bake until the custard is set and puffed and the bread is browned, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

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