Blackberry French Toast Casserole

On vacation back in April my boyfriend, Derek, and I went to South Carolina to visit his mom. She made us this blackberry french toast casserole that was out of this world. So, while puttering around Trader Joe’s yesterday, I found some very delicious looking blackberries and decided to give the casserole a whirl, re-creating the recipe from memory. It was fantastic! Very simple to make and very satisfying, I actually had some for dinner too, it was that yummy!

Ingredients:

1 loaf Challa or Brioche (best if you allow the bread to sit out overnight to dry out a bit)

8 Eggs

1/4 Cup of Milk

1/4 Cup light creme

1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Allspice

1 tub of cream cheese

1/4 cup of sugar

2 pints blackberries

Maple Syrup

Mint for garnish (optional)

So, first – the oven to 350 degrees, then cut the bread up into approx. one inch cubes, this dish had a rustic feel to it so you don’t need to be super perfectionist with the cubing of the bread. Set aside the bread in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine eggs, milk, creme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Whisk until well blended, pour egg mixture over bread stir gently to coat each piece. Set bread and egg mixture aside so it can absorb the eggs.

In A small bowl combine cream cheese and sugar and stir together until well blended and smooth, and yes you can use splenda if you need to, just cut it down to maybe 2 tablespoons or splenda. If you use a light cream cheese it can become really soft, almost soupy, so put the cream cheese mixture in the fridge for a few minutes to let it firm up a bit. You want it to be soft and spreadable, but not like liquid.

In a 9×9 baking dish (or any small stoneware or glass baking dish will do), give a light spray of non-stick spray. Put half of the bread mixture down in an even layer. Then spread the cream cheese mixture on top as evenly as you can. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 pint of blackberries, cover with remaining bread mixture and top with the rest of blackberries.

Cook in over for 25 minutes, until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, and serve drizzled with maple syrup, and a sprig of mint if you’re trying to impress, and don’t forget a big steaming mug of Costa Rican coffee from St. Lawrence Valley Roasters! DELISH!!!!

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