Summer Berry Picking - Blueberry Almond Baked French Toast
I was lucky enough to get up to Butler's Orchard again while the sour cherries were still in season, and now I have beautiful pitted sour cherries in my freezer ready to go into a deep dish sour cherry pie. We went up to pick blueberries - we had a great time and picked a lot of berries. Which was timely as I was hosting a brunch the next day, and when I asked one of our guests what she was in the mood for, she said, "Something with blueberries! It has to be blueberries!" I decided on Ellie Krieger's blueberry almond baked french toast, and I'm so glad I did - it was absolutely delicious. And it's so rewarding to serve such simple, delicious food to your friends - made with berries I picked myself. With love. Awww.
This recipe is perfect for brunch because you assemble the entire thing the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then bake the next morning. I slept in late, and when I woke up, I turned on the oven, popped the baking dish in, and waited for our guests to arrive. THAT is the way to do brunch! I've made a few alterations to the recipe, so the nutritional info for my version would be a bit different than the stats posted on the original recipe's webpage.
Blueberry Almond Baked French Toast
- Cooking spray
- 1 French baguette (12 oz), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 1/2 cups 1% lowfat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange the bread in the baking pan - there's going to be a lot of overlapping and crowding, just fit it all in there.
- Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread. Scatter the blueberries evenly on top and sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the baking pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm with warm maple syrup.
P.S. With the rest of the berries I made a blueberry streusel pie - not to toot my own horn here, but it was insanely good. I'll add more streusel next time, but honestly, baking fresh-picked blueberries in a flaky, buttery, home-made pie crust is about as good as it gets. Perfect for summer. Or anytime, really.
Look at the crust on that pie! Oooh yeah!