Coconut Pumpkin Ale Overnight French Toast Bake
Every interview, radio and TV, that’ve done the past two months has involved answering questions about pumpkin beer.
I told you about the harvest question incident already, and the problem with pumpkin beer. Beer people, for the most part, see this time of year as hop harvest season more than pumpkin season. Fourth quarter has some of the most incredible beer. We have wet hop, barrel aged beer, winter warmers, holiday ales, barley wines. There is so much to explore when it comes to beer. Pumpkin beer can be fantastic but the truth is if pumpkin beer disappeared tomorrow—never to be seen again—I’d hardly notice.
Pumpkin fanaticism this time of year grows to such a fevered pitch it’s hard not to be irritated but the fascination points to a growing trend: in-season produce. That’s good news. Although the obsession gets derailed by the a spice blend that contains no actual hint of the produce other than the name, the idea is still solid. We should do this more. We should lose our minds of blood oranges in January, infusing our beer and lattes as much as possible. We should freak out over apricots in June. We should await peach harvest every summer like a kid on Christmas morning. I’m hopeful these obsessions will continue, pushing us to focus more on the produce that just came out of the ground. Pumpkin, I’m hoping, is just the start of the produce loving snowball rolling down hill.
Pumpkin beer is a great cooking beer. Especially for those who would rather drink something else. Of course it’s strange to add beer to your breakfast, but you make this the night before when finishing the remaining beer from the bottle you open is a lot less strange. The yeast and carbonation give this a slight leavening effect, they way a beer cheese dip can have a soufflé texture out of the oven. The center will puff slightly and the bread will turn slightly puffy and creamy.
And you can pair this with coffee, pumpkin spiced or not.
- 1 loaf (1 lbs) Challah or Brioche bread, cut into cubes
- 5 large eggs
- 1 can (400 mL) full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup (226g) pumpkin ale, brown ale, or winter ale
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (122g) pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (55g) brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (150g) white sugar
- 1 ½ tsp (6g) pumpkin pie spice*
- ½ tsp (3g) salt
- (maple syrup or whipped cream for serving, optional)
- Add the bread cubes to an 9x13 baking dish.
- In a large bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over the bread.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350. Bake until the top is lightly springy and appears to have puffed in the center, about 35-45 minutes.
- Slice and serve warm with whipped cream or maple syrup.
(*For homemade pumpkin pie spice 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground allspice)