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)
- 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.