Oven-Baked Blueberry French Toast recipe from Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia cookbook by Joan Aller
Author Joan E. Aller:
This recipe [for oven-baked blueberry French toast], from the Cripple Creek Bed and Breakfast Cabins in Crockett, Virginia, was handed down from the owner’s grandmother. Cripple Creek is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains on 35 acres of wooded hills and rolling pastures dotted with wildflowers, blackberry bushes, and apple trees. I just love blueberries, so I hope this recipe from Cripple Creek will become one of your favorites!
Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Merry-Jennifer, the merry gourmet
Breakfast is often a hurried affair in our household. We’re big fans of granola bars and bananas – easy to grab foods that will get each of the four of us out the door and off to school or work with the least amount of hassle and fuss. The weekends, though, are different. We get to slow down a bit on the weekends.
Now, I won’t lie and tell you that we do it up on Saturdays and Sundays with full spreads of bacon and eggs, pancakes and hash browns, biscuits and muffins and platters of fresh fruits. Oh, no. Slowing down at my house means that we have time to sit down at the table and enjoy a bowl of cereal at a leisurely pace. And I get a cup of coffee. Or two.
This past weekend I decided to bake up something a little special for breakfast, something beyond what my family was used to eating on the weekends. I treated them to the Oven-Baked Blueberry French Toast from Joan E. Aller Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly.
I intended to follow the recipe exactly, but I just could not bring myself to use 2 packages of full-fat cream cheese. I substituted one of them for 1/3-reduced fat cream cheese. Of course, that probably only saved me about 5 minutes on the treadmill, but hey – I tried. I also couldn’t find fresh blueberries so I (gasp!) used frozen ones. But they were organic. I swear. As called for by the recipe, I used wonderful French bread, fresh made by that day by my local neighborhood bakery.
After making the dish, I have a few things I’d point out to those who decide to make it next. First, don’t turn on your stand mixer after adding the milk unless you particularly like mopping. I’m not a huge fan of mopping, and luckily, I did not have to mop all that much, but next time, I’ll just use my trusty spoon to stir at that point next time. Second, the recipe says this will serve 5. I think it would be a conservative estimate to say it really serves 8 to 10. Also, before I forget, I prepared this french toast the evening before, and making it in advance was a huge time saver.
The final verdict? The Oven-Baked Blueberry French Toast was warm and comforting, with just the right amount of sweetness. The cinnamon and cream cheese filling was rich, but not cloying, and the blueberries (even though they started off as frozen) were a hit with my kids. My daughter has already asked if we can have this again next weekend. I’d say that’s the sign of a winning recipe.
Oven-Baked Blueberry French Toast
Featured Recipe From: Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia
Yield: serves 5
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 10 slices French bread, ¾-inch thick (preferably homemade or fresh store-bought)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- Maple syrup, for serving
- Confectioners sugar, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl with a stand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk and mix well.
Arrange the bread in the prepared baking dish and spread the blueberries on top of the bread. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the bread. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before baking (or cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator overnight). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup and confectioners sugar.
© 2010 Joan E. Aller
Reprinted with permission from Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia, by Joan E. Aller (Andrews McMeel Publishing)