Perfect Party Food: Amaretto-Peach French Toast

Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 10.53.02 AMIn a recent post on Fresh Southern Peach Cobbler, I shared one of my favorite peach recipes.  Today, I want to share another favorite peach recipe that is a tad more time consuming but that I think worth every ounce of effort.

When I took this to a baby shower brunch, it drew raves, even though no one could figure out what it was!  Some asked if it were a bread pudding; others asked if it were cobbler. I loved that is was a dish that no one had ever had before. (I get joy out of the strangest things:-)

The recipe is from Diane Phillips’ Perfect Party Food, a wonderful cookbook that I highly recommend. Diane, known as the Do-Ahead Diva, won the James Beard award for this book that has do-ahead tips for every single recipe. This is a must-have for anyone who wants to be party savvy and cooking savvy at the same time! You can find the book here if you are interested.

The recipe, Amaretto-Peach French Toast, is like a peach French toast cobbler. The inside is more like French toast, while the topping is more crunchy sweet like cobbler. Although this can be made a day ahead, it is not a dish to be frozen.

Note: I find it much easier to make this if I put out all ingredients beforehand, each in a separate space (French toast ingredients grouped together, fruit ingredients grouped together, etc…..).  This is just me, as I need simple:-)

Amaretto-Peach French Toast

French Toast 

6 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 TB amaretto liqueur (if substituting almond extract, use only 1 1/2 tsp!)
1 TB baking powder
2 TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 (8 oz) loaf French bread, cut into 1/2″ thick slices

Fruit

8 cups sliced ripe peaches (or two 16-oz bags frozen sliced, defrosted)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp cornstarch

Topping

1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 TB unsalted butter, melted
Confectioners’ sugar

  1. Coat a 13 x 9 baking dish with baking spray.
  2. To begin the French toast, whisk together eggs, milk, amaretto, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Put bread on rimmed baking sheet (jellyroll pan) in a single layer. Slowly pour this egg mixture over bread, turning slices until totally soaked.
  3. To prepare fruit, put peaches, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch in the baking dish; stir to coat the peaches; cover with the soaked bread, wedging it in to fit.* DIVA DO-AHEAD: Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. To make the topping, mix together sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over bread, and top with slivered almonds. Brush with some or all of melted butter. Bake until golden and peaches are bubbling around the sides of the dish (20-30 minutes).
  6. Remove from the oven and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top. To serve, lift out squares with a spatula, and spoon fruit sauce over top, if desired.