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Blueberry French Toast Casserole and More for Summer

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Here's a recipe for a breakfast casserole that I hadn't thought about for awhile, but is sure is tasty. Use fresh Texas blueberries for best results. It also transports well, so it would be a hit at the office or at a charity planning meeting. The casserole would also be a great brunch item for a family celebration, such as a child leaving for college.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Serves 8

Ingredients:

12 slices dried bread, cut into 1/2" cubes

2 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese, cut into 3/4" cubes

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (drain if using frozen)

12 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

Extra syrup for serving

Preparation:

1. Place half of bread in a buttered 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle with the cream cheese and the blueberries. Top with remaining bread.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in milk and syrup. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2-24 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Replace plastic wrap with foil. Bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 25 minutes until knife comes out clean and top is puffed and golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with more syrup.

To dry bread: Cut bread into 1/2" cubes, spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes until dry. Stir twice. Cool or spread on a wire rack, covering loosely overnight.

The following are a few fun things to try at the end of summer. Some I've made, some I haven't...but I think you'll enjoy them all.

Kahlua and Marshmallow Shots:

Toast some marshmallows and let them slightly cool. Using a small melon baller, scoop out the center. Fill with Kahlua.

BL Tomatoes

Stuff cherry tomatoes with a leaf of baby lettuce and some crumbled bacon. Drizzle with a little mayonnaise if desired.

Minted Blackberry Sauce for Cheesecake

Stir together 3 cups blackberries, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. finely chopped mint, and 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice in a bowl or airtight container. Let macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Yield: 3 cups

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