March 16, 2010

Make Ahead Blackberry Citrus Baked French Toast

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This recipe can be made totally ahead of time, or made and devoured all in the same day! I think this is my husband's new favorite breakfast item. He wanted to make it yesterday again, and came to me holding a recipe. I told him that recipe wouldn't do him any good, because this dish was my recipe. Then he asked if I had it in the green cookbook (my tried and true cookbook), and I said, "No, it's in my head." Until now, that is.

You can make this using either lemon or orange. I've done both, and they both taste good. The orange and blackberry combination was my son and husband's favorite. I might try raspberry and lemon next time, or strawberry and orange.

Blackberry Citrus Baked French Toast:

The Fruity Filling:

1 bag of frozen blackberries thawed (or any fruit you'd like to try)
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. corn starch

Mix together the sugar and corn starch and pour over blackberries. Heat fruit mixture over medium heat, stirring often. Use potato masher to mash down fruit. When mixture has thickened, strain it through a siv, and let cool in fridge.

The Cream Cheese Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest (or orange zest)

Beat all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

The Egg Mixture:

4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 3/4 c. half and half

Beat all ingredients together until combined. Set aside.

The Citrus Whipped Cream:

1 c. whipping cream
2 T. sugar
1 T. fresh lemon juice (or orange juice)
1 tsp. lemon zest (or orange zest)
Whip the cream. As cream begins to get foamy add sugar. As it gets a little thicker at lemon juice and zest. Set aside.

1. Cut 1 loaf of french bread into semi-thick (about 1 inch) slices
2. Layer one layer of the bread slices in a greased pan.
3. Spread a generous amount of cream cheese filling on top of each slice.
4. Top with a large spoonful of your fruity mixture. (I save some of the fruit sauce to use as garnish)

5. Place another layer of bread slices on top of the other slices; making a sandwich.

6. Pour egg mixture evenly on top, making sure all the bread gets covered.
7. Cover and place in fridge over night. (Or if wanting to eat it the same day at least 30 minutes until almost all of the egg mixture has been absorbed.)
8. Remove from fridge and sprinkle the top with 1 T. brown sugar (if desired, not necessary - it just adds little crunchies to the top)
9. Bake at 325 degrees, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
10. Serve with citrus whipped cream and remaining fruit sauce if desired.

(If that's not sweet enough for you already, and you have my buttermilk syrup recipe, you can serve it with that too. It totally doesn't need it, and I prefer not to have it together, but my husband just can't get enough sugar...)

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