This breakfast recipe is inspired by the incredible Raspberry Tiramisu dessert at one of my favorite Pittsburgh restaurants, Arlecchino. I’ve been making weird notes about this dessert on my phone for two years now (does anyone else have food notes on their phone, please say it’s not just me!) and feel like the flavors are perfect for a special occasion breakfast.
I don’t like to be stuck in the kitchen on Christmas morning, but at the same time I want my family to have a meal that feels appropriately special for the day. Enter the overnight Baked French Toast. You can totally assemble this dish the night before, pop it in the fridge, and then stick it in the oven the next morning. It bakes in an hour and you’re ready to eat!
The flavors, texture, and color in this dish are all so good. I love the combination of bright and fresh raspberries, the crunchy toasted almond slices with the classic custard and ooey gooey bread.
I’m adding three additional elements to take this recipe up another notch, because, Christmas: a drizzle of raspberry jam, dollops of Mascarpone cheese, and a dash of almond extract in the custard base.
Again, just to reinforce, this dish is SUPER easy to make – really I’ll call it “assembling” rather than “making.” You can serve it with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup, fresh fruit and mint, or whipped cream, and the whole thing will look like you really fussed over it when in reality it took you just a few minutes of effort.
Happy holidays from my kitchen to yours!
Raspberry Almond Baked French Toast
- 1 loaf of Challah bread or other white bread
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk (preferably whole)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 10 eggs
- 6 oz raspberries
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 oz softened/room temp cream cheese or Mascarpone
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves
- 1 tsp almond extract
Gently toast the almonds until you just see them start to take on color, and then immediately remove from the heat and set aside. You don't want the almonds to get too dark because they'll continue to toast on the top layer while baking.
Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
Dice the bread into cubes and place half of the bread in one layer in the baking dish.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and almond extract.
Place half of the fresh raspberries and half of the toasted almonds throughout the first layer.
Using a spoon, create small dollops of raspberry jam throughout the baking dish, then do the same with the cream cheese or Mascarpone. You want there to be an even spread of fresh raspberries, cream, jam, and almonds throughout the dish.
Pour half of the liquid mixture into the dish, then gently press down on the bread until all the pieces are coated in the liquid.
Top with the remaining bread, and repeat with the raspberries, cream, and jam.
Pour the second half of the liquid over the dish, and then top with the almonds.
Bake immediately for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees, OR cover and chill overnight and bake when ready.
Serve with maple syrup, whipped cream, or powdered sugar.
If you can't find Mascarpone cheese, you can use softened cream cheese.