Baked Blueberry French Toast

 

I love brunch entertaining. With blueberries at the height of season, this decant dish is similar to a bread pudding, so it can be used as an entrée or cut smaller for dessert with a scoop of vanilla gelato. In this recipe the French toast is soaked overnight like bread pudding — in the morning all you need to do is add the topping and pop it in the oven

      One 24-inch baguette

  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups blueberries (about 12 ounces)

For syrup

  • 1 cup blueberries (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

The day before:

Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cut twenty 1-inch slices from baguette and arrange in one layer in baking dish. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla, and 3/4 cup brown sugar and pour evenly over bread. Chill mixture, covered, until all liquid is absorbed by bread, at least 8 hours, and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a shallow baking pan spread pecans evenly and toast in middle of oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Toss pecans in pan with 1 teaspoon butter and salt.

Increase temperature to 400°F.

Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over chilled bread mixture. Cut 1/2 stick butter into pieces and in a small saucepan heat with remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, stirring, until butter is melted. Drizzle butter mixture over bread and bake mixture 20 minutes, or until any liquid from blueberries is bubbling.  

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at www.mysuncoast.com