Blackberry French Toast
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (divided)
- 1 loaf (about 12 ounces) French baguette, sliced into 1 to 1-½-inch cubes
- 12 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 1-¼ cups buttermilk
- 1-¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 cup seedless blackberry jam, warmed until thin enough to drizzle
- 3 to 4 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly brush a baking sheet with about 2 teaspoons of melted butter.
- Spread bread cubes onto the baking sheet. Place into the oven and turn the oven off. Leave bread cubes inside overnight, until crispy.
- The next morning, remove baking sheet from the oven.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large casserole dish or a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil. Brush foil with about 1 teaspoon melted butter. Set pan aside.
- Whisk eggs until foamy and pale lemon-colored. Whisk in white sugar, buttermilk, cream and salt until solid ingredients are dissolved. Pour into a large, shallow dish. Spread bread cubes over egg mixture. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes or until bread begins to absorb the mixture. Using a slotted spoon or a fork, push bread slices down, submerging them into the egg mixture and stir a little.
- Use a slotted spoon to take out half of the bread cubes. Spread onto the bottom of prepared casserole or baking pan. Top with half of the cubed cream cheese. Spread blackberries over bread cubes and cream cheese layers.
- Combine together light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over blackberries. Spoon warmed blackberry jam over light brown sugar and spice layer. Cover with the remainder of the soaked bread cubes and cubed cream cheese. Pat down gently to create an even top.
- Stir any remaining egg mixture and pour over bread and berry layers in the casserole. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Set casserole over baking sheet. Bake French toast for about 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed up.
- Remove baking sheet and casserole from the oven. Set casserole onto a wire rack and allow French toast to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into squares or bars. Serve warm.
- Makes 8 to 10 servings.
- If using frozen blackberries, thaw and drain well. Excess moisture will cause the dish to be soggy and might not firm up during baking.
- You can top each serving with whipped cream, pancake syrup or chocolate sauce, depending on whether the dish would be served as breakfast, brunch or snacks.
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