I'm not a French Toast fan, but I saw this recipe, knew my family was going to be in town for the weekend to celebrate my birthday, and thought it would be an easy and fabulous breakfast for after Mass on Sunday! I was right on all accounts and the meal was a huge hit!! I served it with sausage links and fresh berries, but it's great on its own, too... Enjoy!
For the Toast:
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 baguette, preferably day-old
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
For the Syrup:
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Set aside.
Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Cut the baguette into 1 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange in an even layer in the dish. If some of the bread won't fit, save it for another use! Whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg in a large bowl and pour over the bread. Turn the bread slices to coat evenly. Chill the mixture, covered with plastic wrap, until all the liquid is absorbed by the bread, at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes before baking. Just before baking, sprinkle the blueberries and pecans evenly over the bread. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted. Drizzle over the bread mixture and bake until blueberry juices are bubbleing around the edge of the pan and the bread is heated through, 20-25 minutes.
While the French Toast is baking, make the syrup. Cook the blueberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until most of the blueberies burst, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the syrup through a sieve into a heatproof pitcher, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Stir in the lemon juice. Set the pitcher in a pan of warm water to keep warm until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Celebrate the Rain, by the Junior League of Seattle.