Giant Apple Croissant French Toast

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Our families are too big to have over at the same time (because our new dining room is tiny), so when we wanted to host a nice summer housewarming brunch, we split them up: my family last weekend, and the Pie’s family this coming weekend.

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Because Krystopf and Atlas were coming and they were bringing the newly-mobile, currently-teething, and generally low-patience General Zod with them, we knew this particular brunch had to be easy and it had to be something they could eat and run.  I had made a Croissant French Toast Casserole before, and it had been pretty good, albeit way too sweet.  So for this one I dropped the sugar altogether in the egg mixture (it’s still in the streusel topping) and added a bunch of fresh and dried fruit to the mix.  I think it’s my new favourite, and everyone went back for second helpings so I think they liked it too.  I doubled the recipe to give leftovers, so this probably will feed 12 comfortably.  Feel free to halve it — though I bet it freezes well, and this amount made 2 casserole dishes’ worth, which would be enough for a potluck as well.

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Start with 12 stale croissants.   If they’re not quite stale, rip them up and leave them out for a couple hours and then they’ll be stale.  Don’t sacrifice a truly fresh croissant for this, though.  If you have a hot fresh croissant, you need to stuff that in your face this instant, or we can’t be friends anymore.

Chop up 3 apples into bite-sized pieces and set those aside.

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I also grabbed a jar of diced dried apricot and another of golden raisins, just for variety.

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Crack 10 eggs into a large bowl.

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Whisk in 3 cups milk (I used a mixture of cream and milk), 3/4 cup yogurt (any kind — I used Activia prune), 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons vanilla.

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Make sure you manage to break all those yolks.

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Butter two 9″ x 13″ pans generously and start layering in bits of torn-up croissant.  I then took a scoop or two of apple pieces and sprinkled them on, together with a small handful each of dried apricot and raisins.

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Layer on more croissant pieces, and more fruit, but make sure that the top layer is just croissant pieces, as the fruit will simply burn in the oven if left exposed.  Then, just pour on the egg mixture until everything is lovely and saturated.  Cover the casseroles with plastic and chuck them in the fridge overnight.

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The next day, preheat your oven to 350°F and grab a bowl.  Tip in 3/4 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon, and give that a good whisk up.

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Use a pastry blender to cut in 3/4 cup cold butter until you’ve just got little pea-sized pieces of it.

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Sprinkle that goodness all over the tops of your casseroles and bake them for about an hour and a bit, until the top is dark brown and the egg is all cooked. We served ours hot with maple syrup and a lovely layered fruit salad on the side.

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Cinnamon Croissant French Toast

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Sometimes our grocery store has a deal on fresh-baked croissants, and the Pie and I have a hard time resisting.  The problem is that the deal more often than not necessitates buying WAY more croissants than two people can eat within a reasonable span of time, and we end up with stale croissants by the end of it.  And I HATE wasting food.  So when I found this recipe, which I adapted for two croissants and half the sugar, I was sold.  You will need a bit of advance notice for it, so it’s a good idea to do the prep work the night before, and then chuck it all in the oven just in time for the ones you love to wake up and enjoy a hot breakfast treat.

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Take a small casserole or loaf pan and butter it generously.  Take 2 stale croissants and tear them into bite-sized pieces and dump them in the buttered casserole.

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Whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons yogurt (I used vanilla), and 2 tablespoons sugar.

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Pour all that goodness over the croissant pieces, cover the dish and refrigerate it overnight.

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Next morning, while you’ve got your kettle on for coffee or tea or cocoa or whatever it is you drink in the morning that is hot, preheat your oven to 350°F and haul your milky, eggy croissant pieces out of the fridge.

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In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and a teaspoon or two ground cinnamon.

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Mix into that about 3 tablespoons butter, until you get a nice crumbly substance.  Use your hands or a pastry blender or whatever you want.

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Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the croissant pieces and chuck it in the oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it to be.

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I did the whole 45, and mine puffed up delightfully.

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Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving, as this stuff is MOLTEN.

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Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy.  Serves two.

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