Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

With an epic ice storm forecasted for our area, I can’t help but plan delicious lock-in meals to get my family through it all. I have no idea if it will get as bad as the weather experts are forecasting, but I do know I will be PREPARED for my family to eat well!

 I have been aspiring to make this Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole for months and this is the perfect occasion to accept winter for what it is and get baking.

 There are several things I love about this recipe. Number one, it calls for our delicious frozen strawberries in the Natures Blessed line. We buy this product line directly from Michigan where the Coloma Company packages top grade fruits and vegetables picked at optimum ripeness. Their strawberries are divine.

 The second thing I love is that I can use Eckert’s Bakery’s Irish Soda Bread. Our Irish Soda Bread is very popular and nothing like it can be found in our region. We make scones out of it for our restaurant and we slice loaves of this unique bread daily in our Country Store.

 Third, this recipe calls for a sweet cream cheese to be spread on top of the Irish Soda Bread and then topped with strawberries. After that, the dish is soaked with creamy custard. I think you will find a slice of this yummy breakfast casserole to be a little piece of heaven on a plate.

 I must admit, this recipe requires a bit more time to prepare than most of mine. But, with the forecasted ice storm, you might just be looking for something to do and to warm the souls within your household.

 Stay warm and eat well this winter,

Angie

 

French toast ingredients
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 loaf of Eckert’s Irish Soda Bread (about 12 slices)
20 oz or 3 cups frozen strawberries, sliced

Custard ingredients
¾ cup milk
¾ half and half
10 eggs
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional: Eckert’s Strawberry Syrup or Jam for topping

Butter a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and beat to incorporate. Beat in sugar for 1-2 minutes. Then beat in 1 egg and lemon juice.

 In a large bowl, whisk together custard ingredients: milk, half and half, ten eggs, maple syrup and vanilla. Set aside.

 Spread cream cheese mixture on one side of each slice of bread, then top cheese with sliced strawberries. Repeat with all bread slices. Using a serrated knife, cut bread (with topping) into one inch cubes. Place 2/3rds of the cubes in the baking dish. Top with remaining strawberries and remaining cream cheese. Top with remaining bread crumbs. Then pour custard mixture over the top. Lightly press the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve with Eckert’s Strawberry Syrup or Jam. Serves 12.