Adding fresh (or frozen) fruit and a crumble topping really takes this French Toast Bake to another level. Makes for a wonderful brunch, or even a dessert! It’s also a great way to use up some leftover bread. The fruit variations are endless, but my favorites are Apple, Blueberry, or Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb.
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups of Half & Half
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
6–8 cups of cubed bread
2–3 cups of desired fruit, such as cubed apples, blueberries, or strawberries + rhubarb**
For the Crumble Topping-
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
pinch of sea salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Add fruit and bread, gently stirring until bread is coated. Cover and refrigerate 4-8 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Transfer chilled bread mixture to the baking dish and arrange in an even layer, pressing down gently with a spatula to avoid large gaps between the bread pieces.
Bake uncovered, 35-40 minutes until top is lightly golden. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble topping.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and butter until a moist, crumbly mixture forms.
Remove baking pan from oven and arrange the crumble topping evenly over the French Toast Bake. Return to oven for an additional 8-10 minutes until topping has melted and browned slightly.
Let sit a few minutes before slicing. Serve warm.
** To roast strawberries and rhubarb: Hull and quarter the strawberries, and slice the rhubarb. Arrange them on a lined baking sheet and give them just a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired. (I love the combination of strawberries and balsamic.) Roast at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes until juices are thickened, but not scorched. Let cool and set aside while preparing the French Toast Bake.
Keywords: apple pie french toast bake, french toast bake, crumble topping, roasted strawberry rhubarb french toast bake, bread pudding