French Toast for a Crowd

I love weekend breakfasts. There’s something so optimistic about the smell of maple syrup and bacon wafting through the house, and the slanted rays of morning sunshine pouring through the windows. It makes you feel like the weekend is full of possibilities. Like you are going to get that new hay shelter built, and clean out the winter vegetable beds, and trim the horses’ hooves, and finally get your closet organized, and spend quality time with the kids, and read at least a couple of the books you ordered, and everyone will be cheerful with brushed hair and spotless clothes – and that’s just before noon on Saturday.

With all of that going on, you’re gonna want making breakfast to be easy. Because you deserve to relax with a cup of coffee, for at least a few minutes, before accomplishing your perfect weekend.

I therefore give you my lazy, but so scrumptious, french toast recipe. (And don’t worry, nobody actually gets all that stuff done. And your kids look kinda sweet with messy hair and blueberry stains.) Have a happy weekend!

Baked Blueberry French Toast

Ingredients

8(ish) slices of your favorite thick sliced bread. Challah bread or Texas toast are great, but I’ve used whatever I have, including stale baguettes. Arrange the slices overlapping in a baking dish.

For the custard:

10 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbs grated orange zest

(You can substitute a couple of tablespoons of orange juice for the zest if you don’t have an orange on hand)

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup cream

(Or use all milk if you want a lower fat version)

On top:

2 tbs diced butter

1 cup blueberries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix eggs with sugar and spices. (If you mix before adding milk, the cinnamon won’t clump up in the liquid.) Then mix in milk.

Pour the custard mixture over the bread. There will be a pool of custard in the bottom of the baking dish, the bread will not be completely soaked. Gently pour the extra custard from the baking dish back into the mixing bowl, keeping the bread in the baking dish. Then pour the custard over the bread again. I usually do this a couple of times, so that the bread is completely soaked. I think it’s easier, faster, and less messy, than dipping each piece of bread individually. But you can do it that way too if you prefer.

Sprinkle blueberries and diced butter on top. Then dust the top with a bit more cinnamon and sugar. (I keep a shaker of cinnamon and sugar in the kitchen for quick cinnamon toast, or cappuccinos. If you don’t have that, it’s not worth the hassle of making cinnamon sugar just for this – plain sugar is fine.)

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Go do something relaxing. When it starts to smell good, and you can see that the egg is no longer liquid, If no one is ready for breakfast yet, turn the oven down to 200, leave it covered, and enjoy the peaceful morning for as long as you can. Or, remove foil and bake at 400 for a few minutes until the top of the french toast browns a little bit.

Enjoy!

Recipe notes

1.) Don’t worry too much about precise quantities – it’s going to taste great no matter what, and it’s supposed to be easy.

2.) Do you have a rasp? It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools. The fresh grated nutmeg and orange rind make all the difference. (And grate the nutmeg first, so that you don’t have to clean out the rasp before grating the orange zest.)

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