- butter, for greasing the baking dish
- 1 large loaf day-old French bread or brioche
- 8 large eggs
- 5 cups half-and-half
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, tossed with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
- powdered sugar (optional), for dusting
Blueberry French toast is the best way I can think of to greet a new day. My alarm goes off at 5 a.m., five days a week. Off to yoga I go; my weeks are very structured, and I usually cater on Saturday nights. By the time Sunday comes, I am ready to relax. This blueberry French toast is an amazing way to celebrate Sunday. You can assemble it on Friday or Saturday and let it sit in the fridge. It actually does better because all that yummy goodness has time to really soak into the bread. Blueberry season in Mississippi is long and plentiful. I will go to the farmers market to stock up and will eat half in the car on the way home. I put them in salads, on cereal, in smoothies and in this delicious French toast.
Technique tip: Coating the blueberries in flour stops them from turning the French toast purple.
Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Cut the bread into 2-inch chunks and set aside.2.
In a large bowl, gently beat the eggs. Add the half-and-half, granulated sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt; whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the bread, berries and cream cheese, and mix gently. Pour into the prepared baking dish.3.
Cover the baking dish with foil and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours so the bread chunks can absorb the custard.4.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Uncover the baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, until the middle is set and all the custard is absorbed. If the top gets too brown before the casserole is done, cover it with foil. Dust with powdered sugar, if using, and serve immediately.
Excerpted from COME ON OVER! © 2021 by Elizabeth Heiskell. Photography © 2021 by Angie Mosier. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.