Saturday, May 16, 2009

Take A Bite Of: Baked French Toast

Something incredibly warm, inviting, and guaranteed to disappear. I made this last weekend when we hosted a Mother's Day brunch for eleven people. Besides the two pounds of bacon my brother insisted on (with JohnnyMac's hearty support), I added this and the delicious Mini Frittatas I have previously shared. There wasn't a bite remaining. Of anything.

I omitted the blueberries but added a teaspoon of cardamom. This little treat filled my house with the smell of cinnamon and maple as it baked into custard perfection. Another Giada De Laurentiis speciality. Buon Appetito.

Baked French Toast with Blueberries
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
6 (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 and drizzle with maple syrup.

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