There are a few ingredients that I genuinely believe improve almost anything. Pistachios is one of them. I’m trying to find the words to describe pistachio’s flavor – nutty, obviously, rich, maybe a touch of cherry or a floral note? There’s just something special about it. I especially love them paired with strawberries, so here we are, with my strawberry pistachio baked French Toast. The pistachios add a lovely crunch, the strawberries are sweet and bright, and baked French toast is basically a lower key bread pudding. The extra brilliant thing? You can put everything together the night before, for an epic carbo-licious brunch.
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
10 slices day-old brioche (about 3/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled, roughly chopped
2 cups strawberries, quartered
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Beat eggs in a bowl. Whisk in milk, heavy cream, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt.
Working in batches, dip 10 slices day-old brioche into batter to coat. Overlap brioche slices in a 9-by-13-inch ceramic or glass baking dish, sprinkling the strawberries throughout. Pour remaining batter over top. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top with pistachio streusel. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake until top is golden brown and crunchy, 20 to 25 minutes more. Serve with syrup.
INGREDIENTS (PISTACHIO STREUSEL)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
Using your fingers or a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and then mix in the butter until crumbly. Add the pistachios. Place on a baking sheet with a silicone mat and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Break apart and mix the streusel up, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Crumble and cool.