You can use frozen or fresh peaches in this baked French toast. If using fresh peaches, peel them first. If using frozen, thaw them first and check the size. Most frozen peaches are cut thick. If they look to be an inch thick or more, just slice them in half lengthwise.
- 1 large loaf brioche, challah, or crusty bread (about 21 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 8 ounces fresh or frozen peaches, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 6 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
- 8 large eggs
- 2 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
For the raspberry sauce:
- 10 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Heat the oven to 350°F.
2 Prepare the baking dish: Generously spread 2 tablespoons of butter on the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish.
3 Prepare the bread and fruit: Cut or tear the bread into 2x2-inch pieces. Place an even layer of bread on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Dot the top of the bread with 2/3 of the raspberries, and layer all of the peach slices around the raspberries. Top with another layer of bread pieces. Tuck the remaining berries into cracks and crevices on the top of the dish.
4 Make the custard: In a large bowl, aggressively whisk together the eggs so they are one homogeneous color (about 30 seconds). Add the heavy cream, sugar, extract, and salt. Whisk aggressively together for about a minute.
Pour the custard over the bread and fruit mixture. Gently smoosh the bread down into the custard so everything is moistened.
5 Finish the casserole prep: Sprinkle the top evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar and sliced almonds.
At this point, the casserole can be baked right away, or covered and refrigerated overnight and baked in the morning. Preheat the oven to 350°F when ready to bake.
6 Bake: Bake the casserole for 50 minutes. The bread will puff up and the top should be golden with toasty bits.
7 While the casserole is baking, make the raspberry sauce: Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside.
Set a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add frozen raspberries, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir occasionally while mashing the berries down with the back of a spatula, allowing the berries to release their juices while gently simmering. You don’t want this to boil or aggressively simmer, because it would reduce the sauce too much. This should only take about 5-7 minutes.
Once the berries have released their juices, pour the sauce through the fine mesh sieve, pressing down to release as much of the sauce as you can. Discard the solids.
8 Serve: Remove the French toast casserole from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into pieces, and transfer to a plate. Drizzle each piece with raspberry sauce.