but it was delicious. so good, in fact, that i didn’t want an unattractive picture to dissuade you from making it. the above picture? it’s a picture of the original recipe i tried my hand at a couple of years ago. it was prettier than my recent attempt but even then, not so pretty that you’d want to see any more than angled corner shot of it. it is a casserole-like dish, and i’ve yet to meet a casserole that takes a pretty picture.
the original baked french toast recipe was ok but, like most baked french toasts i know, was very wet and mushy (i like mine on the drier side, so if you like very wet and mushy, this might not be the one for you). and while i love a bit of sweetness, i’m not usually in the mood for dessert first thing in the morning. i also used a dark whole grain bread. some might swear that only a soft white bread or challah is the way to go here but i disagree. once the bread is covered in blueberries and pecans and spices, it will make a believer out of even the most devoted white bread lover.
baked blueberry and pecan french toast
1 whole grain loaf of bread (enough to slice and fill a 9×13 casserole dish)
2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 brown sugar, divided
1 cup pecans
4 TBS butter
2 cups blueberries
cut the bread into 1 inch slices and arrange in overlapping layers in the dish (alternatively cut into large chunks). in a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. pour over bread. cover and chill until liquid is absorbed, at least 8 hours or overnight. when ready to bake, remove dish and let come to room temperature.
preheat oven to 400°F.
roughly chop pecans and toast them in a skillet until fragrant. in a small saucepan melt butter with remaining 1/4 c sugar, stirring until combined. sprinkle pecans and blueberries over bread mixture. drizzle butter and sugar mixture over bread and bake for 30-35 minutes.