This bread pudding, breakfast casserole is a nice dish for a holiday breakfast or brunch. Especially if you’re having company in town. Cubing a loaf of French bread into a casserole pan, mixing in eggs, blueberries and cream cheese, letting it set overnight in the refrigerator, it’s easily baked the next morning for an indulgent breakfast. Let’s read more about its story.
This past week, our local South Metro Denver Board of Realtors held its 13th Annual “Trim-A-Tree For Charity” Christmas Breakfast. The purpose of the event was to collect as many toys as we could for families in need. The toys were donated to Interfaith Community Services, a charity who supports families in the South Metro Denver area.
About 50 of us on the committee plan the event each year. We invite the entire real estate community to attend a breakfast where we cook pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs. Admittance to the event is simply an unwrapped toy for a child whose family has fallen on hard times and who might not have a Christmas tree, let alone gifts under that tree.
Santa is always invited to help spread the cheer and visit with the children in attendance…which by the way are children of attendees. Board members from Interfaith Community Services are invited along with a big truck to transport the toys back to their facility where they sort and distribute to needy families. We raised around $10,000 this year, a record for us.
Brian Counterman, Allstate Insurance, one of our committee members is also a professional jazz musician. He generously donates his time each year to provide us with Christmas music. Brian is on the right.
A Christmas brunch party wouldn’t be a party without Mimosas. While serving mimosas to the crowd, Nikki Christiansen from Internet Media Consultants (far right) asked me if I had ever prepared Blueberry Stuffed French Toast from the Colorado Collage Junior League Cookbook. I replied no, and she began this long description of the dish that had my mouth watering as soon as she mentioned the cream cheese. Mimosa servers from left Nicolini Botticelli, Bobbi Taylor, Coey Howe, me and Nikki.
My friend and co-worker Coey couldn’t resist a little smooch with Santa.
So back to this Blueberry Stuffed French Toast. This recipe includes a blueberry syrup which I altered a bit by adding some lemon oil to make it a blueberry-lemon syrup. I also served some pure maple syrup at the table and we thought both were really good, obviously each changing the mood of the dish considerably.
And nestled beside a couple patties of Jimmy Dean Original Pork Sausage, it was a great combination of flavors.
- 12 slices french bread I used a 12 ounce baguette, cut into 1-inch cube.
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and drained
- 12 large eggs
- 1/3 Cup maple syrup
- 2 Cup milk
- Blueberry Syrup
- 1 Cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Cup fresh blueberries rinsed and drained
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 - 3 drops pure lemon oil optional
Grease 13 x 9 baking pan. Place half the bread cubes evenly in prepared pan. Scatter cream cheese cubes over bread and sprinkle with 2 cups blueberries. Arrange remaining bread cubes over blueberries.
In a large bowl combine eggs, maple syrup, and milk and whisk to blend. Pour evenly over reserved bread mixture. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake, covered with foil, in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 30 minutes longer. Or until puffed and golden brown.
Remove from oven and let set about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and water over medium high heat. Cook stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1 cup blueberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until most berries burst. Add butter and lemon oil (if using) and stir until butter is melted. You may prepare this up to 1 day in advance, refrigerate and gently reheat. Transfer to serving bowl.
Plate French Toast on individual serving plates and offer with both blueberry and maple syrups.