Friday, June 25, 2010

Blueberries for Diva

I grew up on loving the Robert McCloskey novels Make Way for Duckling and Blueberries for Sal. Make way for Ducklings made my first trip to Boston Public Garden ever so magical. Blueberries for Sal just makes me want to go out in the field and pick some delicious berries. Since early summer is full of delicious berries, I thought it only fitting to try out a recipe for Overnight Blueberry French Toast from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever (a fabulous early bday gift).

Blueberry Maple French Toast with Blueberry Sauce
For French Toast:
1 large loaf French bread, crust removed
1 package 8-oz cream cheese
1 c fresh blueberries
10 large eggs, beaten
2 c milk
½ c maple syrup

For Blueberry Sauce:
1 c sugar
1 c water
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 T butter
1 c blueberries
Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and spread ½ in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and scatter over the bread. Scatter the blueberries evenly on the top and cover with remaining bread cubes.
Mix the eggs, milk and maple syrup in a large bowl. Pour over bread mixture. Press bread to ensure that it is all covered by egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove casserole from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350. Bake the dish covered for 30 minutes and uncovered 30 minutes longer.
While the French toast bakes, make the blueberry sauce. Combine the sugar, water, cornstarch and butter in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the blueberries and reduce heat to a simmer for 8-10 minutes until blueberries burst. Slice the French toast and serve warm with the sauce.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have a fellow foodie visiting from DC to help taste test this recipe. I love these make ahead breakfast dishes, especially when you have visitors in town. You do most of the work on Friday and then wake up Saturday with an almost ready delicious treat. This recipe did not disappoint. It's fully of delicious blueberry goodness! We loved it so much that we ate it again on Sunday. For the final version above, I've cut the cornstarch as the original amount didn't fully dissolve in the sauce AND the egg amount because Mr. Diva found it a little soggy. I'm thinking this dish could and should be tried with other berries, perhaps a strawberry version is in the Diva's future. Mmm nothing like Berries and Cream!

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