Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
- 1 (24-inch) baguette
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans (about 3 ounces)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups blueberries (about 12 ounces)
- For syrup:
- 1 cup blueberries (about 6 ounces)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Cut twenty 1-inch slices, on the bias, 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, until all liquid is absorbed by bread, at least 8 hours, and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
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 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over bread mixture. Cut 2 ounces (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.
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.
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