BAKED BLUEBERRY-PECAN FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRY SYRUP
You don't have to be in the kitchen at the crack of dawn to prepare a terrific breakfast. In this recipe the French toast is soaked overnight like bread pudding & in the morning all you need to do is add the topping and pop it in the oven. Serve it with coffee, juice, and fresh fruit and you've got a well-rounded way to start the day.
1 24-inch baguette
6 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans (about 3 ounces)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries (about 12 ounces)
1 cup blueberries (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cut twenty 1-inch slices from baguette and arrange in one layer in baking dish. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla, and 3/4 cup brown sugar and pour evenly over bread. Chill mixture, covered, over night or at least 8 hours, and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a shallow baking pan spread pecans evenly and toast in middle of oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Toss pecans in pan with 1 teaspoon butter and salt. Increase temperature to 400F.
Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over bread mixture. Cut 1/2 stick butter into pieces and in a small saucepan heat with remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, stirring, until butter is melted. Drizzle butter mixture over bread and bake mixture 20 minutes, or until any liquid from blueberries is bubbling.
Make syrup while French toast is baking: In a small saucepan cook blueberries and maple syrup over moderate heat until berries have burst, about 3 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a heatproof pitcher, pressing on solids, and stir in lemon juice. Syrup may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat syrup before serving.
Serve French toast with syrup.
Serves 6 generously.