Fall Back Brunch

November 2011

When you receive a gift of an extra hour of sleep somewhere between late night Saturday dancing and Sunday morning sunshine, the best way to celebrate is to preheat the oven and unwind with a lazy day of brunching.  It’s even better when a friend can join!

The Days Prior…

When I saw Kelly Carámbula’s concoction (I am also a fan of her site), I was so inspired I made a point to buy rum.  I’m no rum expert, so I allowed myself to be lured by the Kraken squid (watch the Kraken videos!!).

Though the recipe calls for a couple days of infusing, my busy schedule led to a quite thorough infusion.  My Fall Back Brunch was the perfect opportunity for the much anticipated fall flavor, and the result did not disappoint.  It was like sipping a pumpkin milkshake!  Much of my version was made according to my tastes, so the documented measurements are approximate.  Keep sampling little spoonfuls as you go and lookout for giant squid!

Infused Rum Ingredients

1 mason jar of dark rum, like Kraken
4 large cinnamon sticks

Cocktail Ingredients

7-10 ounces (about half a can) organic pumpkin purée
1 cup cinnamon-infused rum
7 ounces (about half a can) sweetened condensed milk
5 dashes Angostura bitters
Ground Nutmeg
Ground Cinnamon
Ice block or cubes

For The Infused Rum

Combine the cinnamon sticks and rum in a large mason jar.  Close with a lid and place in a dark area for 3-7 days, gently shaking daily.

For The Cocktail

In a large pitcher, combine the pumpkin purée, rum, condensed milk and bitters. Gently stir until fully combined.

Pour over a couple ice cubes, and sprinkle ground nutmeg and cinnamon over each glass.

Time for oven warmth…

As it turned out, my kitchen had plenty of fall flavors and leftovers lending to a very delightful baked French toast.

The Flavors of Fall French Toast (baked)

Ingredients

Layers
Unsalted butter for greasing baking dish
Organic brown sugar, to taste
4 Challah rolls from Mediterra Bakehouse & a few rolls from this friendly fella
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2-3 cups apple pie filling****
1 cup natural dried cranberries
2 cups toasted pecans

Liquid
Pinch of salt
4 eggs (local/free-range)
¼ cup chai concentrate
3/4 cup local whole milk
1/2 cup local maple syrup
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Lots o’ local maple syrup for serving!

(Click the photo step by step to enlarge ↓)

Use the butter to grease a rectangular glass pan.

Slice the challah rolls and arrange the slices on the baking dish.

Follow with a layer of the pumpkin, followed by the mascarpone cheese, apple pie filling, cranberries and pecans.

Top with another layer of bread slices.

Whisk together the salt, eggs, milk, maple syrup and vanilla.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure it fully seeps into the top layer.

Let the bread soak up the liquid for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.  Drizzle any extra wine sauce from the pie filling over the surface.

Once properly saturated, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the baking dish on the middle rack in the oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until the egg mixture is set, and the bread is golden brown.

Cut into squares and then drizzle generously with pure maple syrup.

How-To-Make-French-Toast

Time for the Brunch!

Welcome to my dining room table…

Time for the antics…
(this could very well be why people think I am legitimately crazy?!?  Nah…)

Fall-Back-Brunch-Antics

Time to dig in…

Time to play some more…

Time to adapt to darkness so early on a Sunday evening.

Fin.

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