There was only one thing on my Christmas list this year… a brûlée torch.

I must have been a good girl.

Baked Orange Rum French ToastI have been using that thing to brûlée the crap out of everything for the last week.

Seriously. One hour after the presents were opened I had a batch of creme brûlée bars in the oven. I may have even toasted a few marshmallows with it when everyone else was distracted with new toys, just for sh*ts n’ giggles.

This morning my first thought was to force the crew on a family bike ride to get some breakfast. Then I stepped outside (with bare feet) to fill Baxter’s water dish and realized it was only 32 degrees out. I spent the next hour back in bed, under no less than three faux fur blankets, eating goldfish crackers with Chonky instead. Then I remembered I had that second loaf of english muffin bread on the counter… ding, ding, ding. Perfect brûlée torch opportunity.

This baked french toast is absolutely perfect for a lazy weekend (or holiday) breakfast. It does take a bit longer than typical french toast but it’s well worth the wait. The custard bakes into the bread, giving it a light and fluffy texture, and the orange zest, nutmeg and teensy bit of rum offer a subtle flavor finish. Deeee-lish.

Baked Orange Rum French Toast_4Baked Orange Rum French Toast
(makes 4 servings)
One loaf of brioche, challah or other rich dense bread (unsliced)
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp fresh orange zest
2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp dark spiced rum

Brûlée Topping:
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, salt, nutmeg, orange zest, orange juice and rum and whisk to combine. Slice the bread into 1″ thick slices and trim off the outer crusts (save for home toasted croutons, of course.) Arrange the bread slices on a rimmed sheet pan and pour the custard blend over the top, coating evenly. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (Or longer if you have time. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and coat a cast iron skillet with a few drops of cooking oil. Arrange the custard soaked bread slices in a single layer in the prepared pan and pour the remaining custard evenly over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes or until the top is a light toasty brown and a sharp knife inserted into a slice doesn’t release any ‘wet custard.’ (Sorry, that sounded gross.)

Baked Orange Rum French Toast_1For the brûlée top, sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and either use a fancy torch to caramelize, or set the oven to broil and pop the pan back in for another 1 – 2 minutes or until the sugar browns. (This will happen quickly, so keep a close eye on it

Baked Orange Rum French Toast_2Before serving, squeeze a bit of fresh orange juice evenly over the top for an extra little burst of flavor.

This was absolutely fantastic with some thick cut bacon and fresh orange slices… And maybe a few mimosas made it into the mix.

Then I spent the next hour back in bed, under no less than three faux fur blankets, watching The Rose Bowl Parade with Finley while Chonky took a nap. It was like amazing déjà vu.

What can I say, we know how to brunch.

Baked Orange Rum French Toast_5OMFG. SO GOOD.