Baked Blueberry French Toast
This blueberry french toast reminds me of weekends away with family and friends in Tobago. Boy what i would do to have a weekend away in Tobago right about now! Each time we went this baked casserole was alway on my list to make because not only is it super delicious, but it can also feed a crowd, its a crowd pleaser, and it can double as dessert too. It’s a total win every-time.
I also love that its equally delicious without the berries and that it calls for either fresh or frozen berries. In Trinidad I couldn’t always get my hands on fresh blueberries all the time nor did I want to spend as much on them, but the frozen ones were quite reasonably priced so I was always looking for recipes that called for frozen as opposed to fresh and this is definitely one of those recipes that you could use either. I use frozen here in Canada also when the berries are out of season.
Let’s talk about how simple this recipe is to make. I have mentioned this before in my ponche de creme version and post; baked french toast is so much easier than making individual portions on the stovetop for 10-12 people. No dipping, flipping, or burning the fist couple before you nail the right amount of butter to grease the pan, or the temp. It’s a quick tear or chop, whisk and dump everything in a pan. The topping is a bit more complex but only slightly and its worth the extra effort cause it adds to the crispy caramelised edges of the french toast which no one can resist.
It’s also fabulous because you can make both components, the french toast and the topping ahead and just stick it in the oven in the morning while everyone else is sleeping and then it’s ready when everyone starts waking up. Waking up to the smell of this baking is heavenly. Or it must be I should say -I wouldn’t know because its usually me making it. Hee hee - no bitterness there at all. I love making it and I love seeing people enjoy it. Johann loves it and he just loves to use up all my maple syrup all over it. We are talking puddles. He is not a cheap date folks, not when it comes to breakfast as all our friends can attest. He is a bottomless pit when it comes to breakfast and he only likes the good stuff when it comes to his syrup. No Aunt Jemima for him. Canadian maple all the way!
It’s the perfect breakfast/brunch dish and I know you will love it. Writing this is seriously making me nostalgic for Tobago and for the people I love in Trinidad. In particular my one little nephew and set of cousins who thoroughly enjoyed this baked french toast. Maybe one day soon i will make it for them again! Until then I guess Johann and my dad can have at this - which they sure did after the last click of the camera and they did so happily!
For the French toast
- 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah bread
- 1 cup (180g) fresh or frozen blueberries
- 8 whole eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup whipping (heavy) cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
- Grease a 9x13 the baking pan or dish with butter.
- Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Then sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the cubed bread.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.
- Pour evenly over the bread and berries.
- Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge for at least 3 hours but overnight preferably.
- Prepare the topping before baking or overnight and store refrigerated in a air tight container.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.
- When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
- Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the bread and berries evenly.
- Bake for 45 min-1 hr until the top is golden brown and crispy. (45 min is for a softer centre)
- Serve with maple syrup or your choice of pancake syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy!!
- Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman