Baked Blueberry Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup

2011 May/June

Ingredients:

  • 1 24-inch baguette
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 t. vanilla essence
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. pecans1/4 c. unsalted butter + 1 t.1/4 t. salt3 c. blueberries (1 c. is for the syrup)1/2 c. maple syrup1 T. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Butter a 9 x13-inch baking dish. Cut 20 1-inch slices from the baguette and arrange the bread in a layer in the baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla and 3/4 c. of the brown sugar and pour evenly over the bread. Chill the mixture, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed by the bread – at least 8 hours and up to a day.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans evenly in a shallow pan and toast them in the middle of the oven for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove them from the oven and toss them with the 1 t. of butter and the salt.

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Sprinkle the pecans and 2 c. of the blueberries evenly over the bread mixture. Melt the 1/4 c. butter with the remaining 1/4 c. brown sugar, stirring occasionally. Drizzle the butter and sugar over the bread and bake the dish
20 minutes, or until any liquid from the
blueberries is bubbling.

Cook the remaining 1 c. blueberries and the maple syrup in a small saucepan over moderate heat until the berries burst. Pour the blueberry syrup through a sieve into a heatproof jug, pressing on the solids. Stir in the lemon juice. Cut the French toast into squares and serve with the syrup. Serves 6. (The syrup may be made a day ahead and kept covered and chilled. Reheat it to serve with the French toast.)