square pineapple upside down french toast1 Is May pretty much the craziest month for everyone else or is it just me?! If I had not been a twitterpated idiot 12 years ago when I was engaged, I nevereverever would have chosen to get married in May because I would have thought about practical things like end-of-the-year parties and celebrations, graduations, dance recitals, and the series finale of The Office. But alas, here we are, squeezing in a grocery store bouquet of flowers and a quick peck on the cheek between applying makeup to my 5-year-old and zipping her into her pink furry cropped jacket. Yep, that happened.

So yeah, this has been a crazy month, and it’s not over yet. But 12 years of marriage deserves a little celebration, right? This idea has been rattling around in my brain for a long time. Sara and I have both kind of talked about that lightning bolt of  inspiration and it was kind of funny how this happened. I was all set to do just a caramel overnight French toast, but I wasn’t totally content with that idea. And then, literally right before I made it, my friend asked me what the pineapple on my counter was for and, to quote Emeril, BAM. I knew what I was going to do and that it was going to be awesome. And it was.

This LOOKS like a lot of steps, but it’s actually very easy and you also make it hours before, so that helps you not want to inflict self-harm with a bowlful of broken eggshells. You’re going to need brown sugar, butter, corn syrup (like Karo syrup, light or dark), about 3 cups of pineapple (fresh, if you can get your hands on it, rings if you can make them, but don’t stress too much either way), Italian bread, softened cream cheese (light works fine, but at this point, who’s counting??), eggs, and vanilla.

pineapple upside down french toast ingredients

Line a 9×13″ baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

lined baking sheet

Line the bottom of the pan with a single layer of pineapple (there will be some left over). Set aside.

pineapple in pan

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a low boil and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Drizzle over the pineapple layer and set aside.

caramel sauce over pineapple

Chop remaining pineapple. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the chopped pineapple

pineapple cream cheese filling

until smooth and combined. Spread a layer of cream cheese over one slice of bread

cream cheese filling on bread

and top it with another and place on top of the pineapple layer. Repeat with remaining bread, filling the pan (you may use more or less depending on what size of bread you use. You also may have some cream cheese leftover. That’s okay. That’s what rubber spatulas are for.) When the pan has been filled, set aside.

In another small mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, vanilla, and remaining brown sugar.

egg and milk mixture

Whisk together well and slowly pour over the bread.

french toast in pan

Add a light sprinkling of cinnamon and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Refrigerate overnight.

To cook, preheat oven to 350. Place the pan into the oven and bake uncovered for 30-50 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the center is solid. Yes, I do realize that’s a huge window of time; keep in mind I have a gas oven and it cooks nothing like an electric oven, so I don’t want to lead you astray. That said, mine was done around the 40-45 minute mark. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes. Then carefully invert the pan onto a serving tray or baking sheet. Cut into squares and serve. Makes 10-12 small servings or 8-10 large ones.

Pineapple upside down French toast stuffed with sweetened pineapple cream cheese from Our Best Bites!


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