Sunday, August 5, 2012

blueberry french toast casserole


We have been enjoying the last few days in Point Reyes, CA -- soaking up the serene, rural atmosphere away from the bustle of San Francisco. Thankfully, the house where we are staying has a well-stocked kitchen, and I had the opportunity to make this leisurely breakfast to enjoy before heading out and exploring the nature and local flavor of the Bay.


There is something very satisfying about cooking at home on vacation. This is probably due to the fact that we have been eating out for almost every meal -- and I can savor every gooey, buttery bite of this french toast casserole while thinking to myself "this would've cost me $12.95 at a restaurant."


This is a very simple recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and can be made the night before. After soaking in the fridge overnight, you simply pop the dish in the oven, sit back, relax with a magazine and a cup of coffee, and watch the magic happen as it bakes into this glorious, custard-y, gourmet casserole! Forty minutes later, the custardy mixture that you prepared the night before has  gently puffed into this custardy, light, toasted casserole -- complete with golden, sweet caramalized edges. 

The plump little blueberries add a tart, sweet pop to every bite (and how could I pass up buying a big, juicy pint of California blueberries?!) What a great way to get some antioxidants in your diet, am I right?! ;)  This would be the perfect recipe for an impressive, low-maintenance holiday breakfast or brunch party (because who wants to stay up light making time consuming pastries and cinnamon rolls the night before a party?). Or even just to treat your family to a lazy weekend brunch. 


What's your favorite lazy morning breakfast?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients
  • Butter, for greasing
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (use whole milk for a richer taste)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 loaf day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2  cups fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Butter a square baking dish (mine was 9x9). Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. I suggest leaving it in the fridge overnight so that the bread can really soak up the custard, but you could bake it now if you wanted to.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set. Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from the oven.
Spoon onto serving plates and drizzle with maple syrup.

6 comments:

  1. Hope you are enjoying your vacation, Erica! All of your photos are stunning, not to mention this casserole. I want some! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Erika! I am really enjoying my vacation (and the casserole was delicious!) Shoot me an email sometime :)

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  2. Oh my gosh that looks delicious (continuing to stalk your recipes I am) we don't have any fresh blueberries (or berries of any kind here) because they don't/can't grow here but we do have the imported kind. I will have to try this one morning.

    Sandy

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    1. You totally should -- or substitute the blueberries in equal quantity with a fruit that can be bought locally! I am sure it would be delicious, and I would love to see how this recipe works with other fruits as well.

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  3. I made it with half blueberry and half banana ^_^. The banana came out great, it was sweet and came out a dark golden colour. My brother ate most of it.

    Sandy

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    1. Haha - I LOVED the picture of it that you sent me! I am excited to try out this recipe with different fruit flavors next time!

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