Baked Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast
|Cream cheese/Low-fat cream cheese||8 Ounce, softened (1 Package, Regular)|
|Butter||2 Tablespoon (for greasing)|
|Orange juice concentrate||1 Tablespoon|
|Sliced strawberries||1⁄2 Pint, stems removed (1 Cup)|
|Italian bread loaf||16 Ounce (1 Loaf, About 4 Inches Wide)|
|Milk/Low-fat / nonfat milk||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Vanilla extract||2 Teaspoon|
|Sliced strawberries||3 Cup (48 tbs), divided (2 Cups Plus 1 Cup)|
|Sugar||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Orange juice concentrate||3 Tablespoon|
|Grand marnier||5 Tablespoon, divided (1/4 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon)|
To Make Filling: In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth.
Stir in concentrate.
Gently stir in berries; they do not need to be completely incorporated.
To Prepare Bread: Cut a small diagonal slice off each end of the bread and discard.
Slice bread diagonally into 1- to 1 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Holding the knife parallel to the counter, cut each slice almost in half, leaving 1 side attached, to make a pocket.
Divide the filling among the pockets, pressing closed around edges.
Place on rimmed baking sheet.
To Make Batter: In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Slowly pour over bread, turning to coat completely. (Bread may be baked immediately, or refrigerated up to 24 hours covered with plastic wrap, or transferred to plastic bags.) To Make Sauce: In a medium saucepan off the heat, stir together 2 cups berries, sugar, cornstarch, orange juice, 2/3 cup water, and 1/4 cup Grand Marnier until cornstarch is dissolved.
Cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until mixture comes to a boil, turns clear, and thickens.
Remove from heat and cool.
Stir in remaining 1 cup berries and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier and set aside to serve warm or at room temperature. (Sauce may be refrigerated overnight.) To Bake: Before serving, preheat oven to 450°F.
Generously grease or spray a clean baking sheet (not the cushioned variety because they don't facilitate browning).
Place bread on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 6 to 9 minutes, or until bottoms are golden.
Turn and bake for 6 to 9 minutes longer, or until both sides are golden.
Transfer to plates, top with some of the sauce, and pass remainder.