This blueberry French toast has a blueberry filling with chunks of cream cheese sprinkled throughout. It is a great brunch option and easy to make for the whole family to enjoy. Topped with additional blueberry sauce, maple syrup, and whipped cream will make this a brunch treat that isn’t soon forgotten.
There is something to be said about making baked French toast casseroles. I started wanting to play around with the flavors and wound up choosing blueberries and cream cheese. What makes this recipe fun is when you cut into it. There is a wonderful blueberry layer right in the middle of the casserole. With little chunks of cream cheese every bite will be a surprise. If you have some extra blueberries then go ahead and make some extra sauce instead of using maple syrup if you would like.
The lost bread
One of the coolest things I learned about French toast was that it would be referred to as pain perdu which means lost bread. It is bread that wasn’t eaten and is a day or more old. This was a way to use up any remaining bread that going stale. It started as a simple and practical way to make sure that food was not wasted. However now this humble dish is a quintessential breakfast/brunch menu item. It has been modified and changed over the years going from fried to now even baked.
Soaking the bread
It really is important to make sure that the bread has been given a chance to dry out a bit. If you use fresh bread it will not absorb all of the liquid and you will a pool of cooked eggs on the bottom. You will also find that the bread will disintegrate under the weight of the egg and milk mixture. The cream cheese will give additional richness to the liquid. You will want to use a blender to make sure that the cream cheese is blended well with the milk before adding the rest of the ingredients. Then pour over the bread gently toss to coat and let soak for at least 2 hours but up to overnight.
Making the blueberry sauce
It is great to make this while the French toast is soaking. The best part is that you just need to let the sugar do the work. Add the sugar, blueberries and lemon juice into a saucepan and let the cook on medium high heat until they release their juices. Once that has happened make sure you keep stirring so that nothing burns. Once the sauce has reduced by at least a third and has become thicker you will want to strain the solids out. I suggest you keep them and set the aside for later.
Assembling the blueberry French toast
One of the special parts about this recipe is the surprise layer of blueberry sauce in the middle with little chunks of cream cheese. You want to spread a layer of bread across the bottom of the baking dish, Then drizzle half of the sauce over the bread. If you kept the blueberry solids then place them in the layer as well. Then add half of the cream cheese chunks. Top with the remaining bread and cream cheese. Save the rest of the blueberry sauce until after the French toast is done baking. Top with your favorite toppings and the remaining blueberries.
Looking for additional brunch ideas?
Baked Cream Cheese and Blueberry French Toast
- Mixing Bowl
- Fine mesh sieve
- 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- 2 pounds French bread day old, cut into 1 in cubes
- 7 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cream cheese ½ softened, ½ cut into cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups blueberry rinsed and picked over, fresh or fozen
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- In blender add half a cup of the cream cheese and the milk. Blend until smooth and then add the heavy cream, eggs, cinnamon, honey, salt, and vanilla. Blend on low until completely combined. Place the bread in a mixing bowl and then pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but can be left overnight.
- In a saucepan heat the sugar, 1 and 3/4 blueberries, and lemon juice over medium high heat. Stir until the blueberries breakdown and release their juices. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Using a fine mesh sieve to strain the solid parts from the sauce.
- Preheat oven to 350F, 177C, or gas mark 4.
- Pour half of the bread into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spread out to a single layer. Top with half of the blueberry sauce and half of the cubed cream cheese. You can use the strained solids as well. Top with the remaining bread and cream cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the French toast is golden brown. Pour the remaining blueberry sauce over the top and sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top.