My son, Christopher, joined me in the kitchen on Easter morning to create this wonderful brunch casserole. Put this all together and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes while the kids hunt eggs and get into their Easter baskets. I do recommend that you use a dense bread like challah, sourdough or French bread for this recipe in order to avoid a soggy final product. (We have used English muffins for French Toast in a pinch with great results.) My guys like this dish so much that they saved some to have for dessert that evening.
BAKED FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRIES (Serves 4-6)
Butter, for greasing pan
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3 (1-inch thick) slices (8 ounces) day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
- Spoon onto serving plates, top with a pat of butter, and drizzle with maple syrup.
~from Giada De Laurentiis