When a recipe can be both breakfast and dinner, you know it's going to be good. This is one such recipe. It can be labeled as a French toast casserole if you plan to eat it in the morning, with maple syrup, Greek yogurt, whipped cream, and nuts, OR you can serve this for dessert with creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Whenever and however you eat this, you won’t be disappointed.TIP: freeze your ginger to make grating it easier!
2large peaches, peeled and cut into about 32 slices
1 ¼cbrown sugar, divided
1 ¾cwhole milk
2 ½tspvanilla extract
1pinchfresh ground nutmeg
2tspfresh grated ginger
8croissants, halved into tops and bottoms
6ozcream cheese, cold and roughly cut into 1’’ pieces
1 ½Tbspbutter, plus more to grease
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter.
Toss the peaches in 1/4 c of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest. set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the zest, milk, eggs, yolks, salt, 3/4 c brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Whisk until smooth.
In a small saucepan, combine the butter and 1/4 c brown sugar over medium-low heat. Cook until glossy and melted; set aside.
In a greased 9x13 baking dish (preferably butter-greased), layer half of the croissants in a single layer—it's okay if there is some overlap, or you can tear pieces to fill smaller gaps. Add half of the peaches and half of the cream cheese. Top with the remaining croissants and finish with the remaining peaches and cream cheese. Pour in the custard, and gently press down on the tops of the croissants with your hands to soak the bread. Drizzle the brown sugar and butter over all and cover with foil. Let sit for 30 minutes before baking. You can also wait overnight.
Place dish on the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for and additional 10-17 minutes, or until the top has browned lightly and the edges are golden.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or serve cold n(or warm) with yogurt, roasted nuts, and honey or maple syrup, for a breakfast twist.