Recipe : Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast Casserole

by Ginny on June 5, 2011

Mascarpone is a soft, Italian triple-cream cheese that adds the occasional dot of ooey gooey goodness to this decadent breakfast dish. Although it’s not required, this casserole can be assembled the night before and baked the next day– a good idea if you have early risers.

Adapted from Paula Deen’s recipe for Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 loaf of artisan-style white bread, like pain de campagne, cocodrillo, or a Tuscan loaf
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt

For the almond topping:

  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. 

2. Carefully slice the tough parts of the crust from the bread, and discard or use for breadcrumbs. Cut trimmed bread loaf into 1-inch cubes. Arrange 2/3 of the bread cubes in prepared baking dish and sprinkle evenly with fresh blueberries and small dabs of Mascarpone. Top with remaining bread cubes.

3. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Pour evenly over the casserole. At this point you can cover the casserole and refrigerate overnight, or prepare the almond topping and bake immediately. It’s great either way.

4. To prepare the almond topping: combine melted butter, brown sugar, almonds, and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl and stir thoroughly to combine. Sprinkle evenly atop casserole immediately before baking. Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until casserole is puffed and golden brown on top. You may wish to broil the top briefly to further brown the crust. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8 to 10

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