The holidays are upon us and that only means one thing: lots and lots of gatherings that somehow always happen around the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In other words, brunch.
One of my favorite things to bring to these occasions (beside the Bloody Marys) is French toast. To me, it’s a non-negotiable food that must be on your table. While there’s something to be said about dipping and cooking each slice individually until it’s perfectly toasted, it’s not really the best option when you’re cooking for a crowd. Who has time for that?
Instead, I like to turn French toast into a big casserole and serve it family style. A traditional casserole can take over an hour in the oven. But with the help of an Instant Pot, it takes just 25 minutes. This method is great when you’re in a hurry or if something else is cooking in your oven. The pressure from the machine helps to condense the flavors, so you end up with a moist, rich and luscious breakfast.
The day-old bread sits in a creamy custard overnight that’s laced with hints of orange zest and ground cinnamon. It helps to liven up the dish and give it some bright, citrus notes. Feel free to top it with any of your favorites ― I topped mine with a nice glug of maple syrup, fresh colorful berries and a little more orange zest.
This recipe is super versatile, as you can mix and match any of your favorite flavors. No matter what profile you choose, you’ll always end up with a perfect, fuss-free breakfast for any occasion.
Instant Pot French Toast Casserole
Serves 4 to 6
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces day-old baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces
Maple syrup, for drizzling
Fresh berries, for garnish
1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, orange zest and salt.
2. Add bread cubes and mix together until combined.
3. Pour into a greased 7-inch round cake pan or oven-safe glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next morning, remove plastic wrap and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
5. Place trivet inside Instant Pot and pour 1 cup of water into bottom of pot.
6. Place cake pan in Instant Pot, resting on top of the trivet.
7. Set Instant Pot to “pressure cook” on high for 25 minutes, then do a quick release.
8. Remove top and let cool for 10 minutes before removing baking dish.
9. Dust warm casserole with powdered sugar, top with fresh berries and serve with maple syrup on the side.