Pecan Upside-Down French Toast Casserole

Episode: 
KCTS 9 Cooks

This easy make-ahead brunch dish from the KCTS 9 kitchen needs no syrup. It tastes like pecan sticky buns, and is perfect for family get-togethers.

serves 8 to 10

1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 navel oranges, squeezed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup nonfat milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
1 (1-pound loaf) French bread, cut in 1-inch slices, then cut in half

Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and sprinkle the brown sugar over the bottom. Combine melted butter and maple syrup; stir into brown sugar, spreading mixture evenly over bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

In a medium bowl whisk together orange zest, orange juice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs. Pack bread pieces into dish crust side down. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dish from the fridge and turn bread slices over to absorb any excess egg mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned and edges are bubbly. To serve, cut into squares with a spatula and invert so the pecans are on top.

Comments

12/27/14
It is not clear if the egg-bread mixture is soaked with the pecans or not, as it refers to "pan" and "dish", but no mention of transferring the one to the other, but doing it all in one would be rather messy, it seems, as you are to turn the bread over to work in the egg mixture. Kindly clarify.
12/27/14
I am not clear about soaking the bread - "Pack bread pieces into dish crust side down. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dish from the fridge and turn bread slices over to absorb any excess egg mixture." Is the "dish" the same as the "pan", or a separate dish? If the same, does not the pecan mix get all 'eggy', and all mixed in when you flip it to absorb the rest of the egg mixture. Is separate, then should there not be an instruction explaining that? Please clarify. Thank you.
12/26/14
one more question: is it possible to obtain nutritional info - carbs, fat etc?
12/26/14
oops, one more question: is it possible to get the nutrition info - fat carbs etc?
12/26/14
sounds yummy but i have questions: 1 i dont really understand why you sprinkle the brown sugar over the bottom of the pan and then 'stir in' the sugar mixture - doesnt this get messy and clump together? 2 what does it mean crust side down in 'Pack bread pieces into dish crust side down.'- the bread only has crust on the edges when it is sliced, not?
12/26/14
Hmmmmmmmmm

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