One of my favorite blogs tempted me with a blueberry French toast that is baked in the oven. Or you could say it is a blueberry bread pudding, depending on when you are eating it. Either way it looked delicious and I had a mini mountain of blueberries in the refrigerator that were maybe hoping to be part of a new breakfast dish. Or a dessert. They weren’t fussy.
My P.S. is a bread man, and he’d brought home a loaf of Texas toast. That’s the thick sliced white bread and it’s best for French toast, or making bread pudding. It was perfect for this dish I found on Dinner With Julie. I used about ¾ of the loaf; a bit more than the recipe called for, but I wanted a large pan that was fairly full.
I sprayed my glass 9×13 baking dish because it is blue, and I was making blueberry stuff, and that just seemed to fit. And no ordinary metal pan seemed worthy of this pretty food. I spread half of the diced bread over the bottom of the pan, then spread out half of a carton of blueberries over the bread. Finally I spread out globs of cream cheese I’d cut from the 8 ounce cube.
The recipe called for room temp cream cheese, then mixing it with sugar and putting plops of it over the bread. I wanted the cheese to be its normal tart self. So I just put small chunks of the cheese into the dish. I used half of it on this first layer.
Then I started over and put the rest of the bread cubes on top, then the blueberries, then the cream cheese. The dish was nice and full after the layers were spread out.
I whisked the egg mixture ingredients together until they were frothy then carefully poured them over the bread cubes, trying to cover as many of them as possible before I ran out of liquid. I pressed them down gently and then covered the dish in plastic wrap and let it stand for an hour.
The recipe said to wait 6 hours or overnight, but I wanted to bake it ahead of time so I put it into the preheated oven and baked it for 40 minutes. I went about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for because my dish was deeper and fuller than the original recipe. The top was golden brown and the center tested firm. I set it on a rack to cool.
Once it was cool I cut the bread pudding into squares and put it into two airtight containers, then stored it in the fridge. Later I made the blueberry sauce and stored that in the fridge as well. The next morning all I had to do was serve up pieces, drizzle them with blueberry sauce, and enjoy!
We loved the pudding; the blueberries from the grocery were huge and a bit tart, but very flavorful. The sauce was a sweet touch but overall the pudding wasn’t very sweet. I am not a sugar in the morning fan anyway, so I was happy. This was a great way to start the day. And a good way to end a meal, when we had it for dessert the next evening. It’s a dual dish!
Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight French Toast
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 a loaf of Texas toast bread, cut into cubes (about 10 cups)
1/2-1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. In a small dish, stir together the cream cheese and sugar.
Cut or tear the bread into cubes into a buttered or sprayed 9 x 13 casserole dish, stopping halfway to add half of the cream cheese cut into small cubes and half of the blueberries. Add the rest of the bread and scatter with blueberries. Top with cubes of the remaining cream cheese.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or overnight.
Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking if you left it overnight. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden and set. Let sit for a few minutes before serving warm, with blueberry sauce or maple syrup.
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup blueberries
In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch until there are no more lumps. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles.