Baked French Toast Casserole with Pecan and Wild Blueberry Topping: Breakfast-Brunch
INGREDIENTS: 1 (16 oz) loaf supermarket French or Italian bread, sliced into 1-inch pieces 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened (to coat baking dish) 8 large eggs 2-1/2 cups whole milk 1-1/2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Topping: 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1-1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1 cup pecans, chopped coarse 1 cup wild Main blueberries (can substitute regular blueberries)
PREPARATION: 1. Casserole: Spread the bread cubes in a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes or until dry and hard at 325 degrees. Pull out of oven to cool. 2. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and pack the dried bread cubes into it. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Then whisk in the milk, cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Cover the entire mixture with plastic wrap and push the bread down into the egg mixture until soft and well coated. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Topping: Stir the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup together until smooth and then stir in the pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap and also refrigerate overnight. 4. Bake and serve: Unwrap the casserole and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Pull out and sprinkle the blueberries on top, then the pecan topping mixture and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately with warmed maple syrup.
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