Tonight’s dinner is a spin-off of one of my family’s favorite recipes that I make. Normally this is blueberry cream cheese French toast casserole. But…we are out of cream cheese and I really don’t want to run to the store. So I’ve revamped an old goodie into something almost the same with just a little spin.
What you’ll need:
- 9″x13″ or larger baking dish (You want something at least 2” deep so you get a good thick French toast.)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Crusty bread (Any kind is fine. I usually get the large leftover crusty loaves that the bakery inside my store doesn’t sell. Day old and super crusty is just fine for this recipe.)
- Milk (Whatever kind you drink is fine.)
- Ground cinnamon
- Frozen blueberries
You’ll also need things like a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, a spatula, and of course an oven.
How Long Does it Take?
This recipe can be prepped the night before, covered, and put in the fridge until the next day when you’re ready to cook it. I wouldn’t suggest leaving it more than 12-18 hours before you cook it though just because of health safety risks with the eggs. Leaving it to sit is a good idea when you have that super crusty bread because it allows the bread to soak up all the eggy goodness that you pour over it.
With that all said, let’s get into how you make this masterpiece.
Let’s Get Cooking
Spray your 9″x13″ baking pan liberally, you don’t want this sticking. Then slice and cube your bread. I like using a big crusty, day old French or Italian loaf. I slice it into larger slices, about an inch thick, and then cut those slices into fours making them into cubes. Take half of your cubes and spread them throughout your greased pan. Make sure you put enough in to completely cover the bottom, using more than half of your bread is just fine…usually I use around ¾ of the bread I cube. This time I used 2 ½ loaves of bread, which seems like a lot, but you definitely want leftover because this is delicious for a snack, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I was going to use 3 whole loaves, but the hubby cut up half of one while I was doing chores and ate it with butter. Ugh…2 ½ loaves worked fine.
Toss your frozen blueberries with just a sprinkle of flour. I used 12 oz of frozen blueberries because we really wanted blueberry in every bite. The flour is just to coat the blueberries to make them juicier in the casserole. Also, you can use any type of berry your family likes, just use frozen because fresh becomes too mushy in this recipe. Next sprinkle the blueberries over the top of the first layer of bread in your baking dish. I didn’t exactly sprinkle, it was more of a pour since I had so many. I would suggest using only half of a 12 oz bag of berries unless you want it to be super berry flavored. Top the berries with the rest of the bread cubes.
Whisk your eggs together with 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I used 12 large eggs, sometimes you may need to use up to 18 eggs depending on how much bread you use and how crusty it is. The more bread you use and the crustier it is then the more eggs you will use, you want to get all the bread soaking up at least some of that mixture and getting softer before baking it.
Pour the egg mixture over all of the bread. Then take a spatula and press the bread down into the egg mixture. Don’t be afraid to really get in there and push the bread too. You want as much of that egg mixture soaked up as possible. So, PUSH PUSH PUSH that bread!
Make a Choice
- Bake it right away.
- Cover it with foil and let it sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours before baking.
- Cover it with foil and let it sit in the fridge overnight before baking.
It’s totally your choice. I’ve done this where I’ve baked it right away and it comes out delicious with the very top bits of bread that were sticking out of the egg mixture just a little browned and crispy and I’ve also made it and let it sit 4 hours before I baked it. There is no wrong way to go when deciding on the baking method.
Whatever your baking choice, when you’re ready preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking dish into the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes or until lightly golden on top and the egg mixture is no longer jiggly and/or is set. Depending on how many eggs you use, you may need to cook it a little long than 50 minutes, I’ve never had to cook it more than an hour total though no matter if I used 12 or 18 eggs. Pull the dish from the oven and let it sit while you mix up a simple, quick, yummy drizzle to go on top.
(This was my piece without the icing, too much sugar for my diet.)
Take 2 cups of powdered sugar and add 1 tsp vanilla. Add warm water a teaspoon at a time, mixing between each teaspoon, until the mixture becomes smooth and like a pourable icing. Pour over the top of the casserole. Cut and serve (warm is best).
Make sure to keep your leftovers because this is just as delicious the second, third, and fourth (if you have that much left) times around. I like to reheat it the next day for breakfast and top with a little bit of jelly that I have stirred until pourable, use your favorite flavor of jelly…blueberry jelly/jam would reinforce the blueberry flavor, but grape jelly tastes amazing too.
So that’s what’s for dinner. I hope you try this amazing recipe. We love it for dinner but it is delicious at any time of the day!