So, I will start off with the fact that I could not find persimmons. Turns out, it is a bit early for them. I would, however, put a couple of them in this dish, and may make it again with gluten free bread. Yes, what is pictured is not gluten free. It is in actuality a loaf of day-old sourdough from Walmart. It had to be used. I was however going to make my favorite loaf bread for this before my sandwich bread started going south. You can find it over at Ginger Lemon Girl.
This recipe was originally conceived as my first entry into our October Ingredient Challenge. Then I discovered that this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge ingredient was cranberries. It was a win-win.
I will note that I cooked this in a 4 quart crock-pot, and it came out more like bread pudding than a French toast bake. My thoughts are to either use a 6 quart crock (requires buying one), divide it in half to bake, or just bake it in a 9 x 17 glass baking dish instead of the crock next time. Or I could just change its name to Fall Bread Pudding. Eh! Anyway you look at it, this is an amazing dish. The monkey enjoyed it so much he took it in his lunch one day.
Fall French Toast Bake
8 eggs or egg substitute equivalent
2 cups non-dairy milk
1 cup diced apples
1 cup whole cranberries
1/2 Cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon molasses (optional)
bread of choice (should fill up the crock when cubed)
1/3 Cup creamy almond butter
1/3 Cup white chocolate chips (or carob or Enjoy Life or....)
Clean one-two small sweet potatoes and put them on to boil (make sure to check on them-they should be done in about 20-30 minutes). Then, cut your bread up into medium sized chunks and dump in the crock for safe keeping. In a large bowl, whisk your eggs/egg equivalent and milk together. Add apples, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg. Whisk until combined. Set aside. Peel your sweet potato and put into the glass measuring cup you used for the milk. Add the molasses (or not) and mash with a potato masher or ricer. Add to "egg" mixture. Dump the bread cubes in, and continue turning over until all bread is coated. VERY IMPORTANT!! Spray your crock with cooking spray before transferring the French toast. Bake on high for 3 hours. The top will still be a bit moist.
Prepare the sauce in a microwave save dish. Heat in 45 second intervals, stirring in-between to combine the almond butter and white chips. This is enough for half of the bake. Pour over individual servings. (Note: The Monkey declares this delicious on his Food for Life bread with apricot jelly.)
Addendum: I am working with a vegan bread, and testing out an idea for the egg equivalent in the next few days. Will let you know how it goes. :)