As luck would have it I began my weekend with some fresh raspberries that I wanted to use up and a stale loaf that was not in it's prime. The weekend is usually a time when we have ourselves a bit of a treat for breakfast and so I decided to do us a baked french toast casserole, but with a bit of a difference . . .
Baked French Toast casseroles are a little bit like bread puddings I think . . . not quite as sweet, but it's a very fine line that divides them in my opinion.
Whilst one is a total pudding/dessert . . . the other is meant to be a main course . . . and what a lovely main course it can be.
I like to think it's a bit healthier . . . baking your French Toast rather than frying it . . . don't you??? There is not a lot of butter used, except to butter the baking dish, and of course you could opt to use a really healthy kind of bread if you really wanted to . . .
But if you are like me, in for a penny in for a pound. A sturdy white loaf works beautifully. With a layer of Maple syrup on the bottom of the dish, a vanilla and lemon flavoured custard . . . tart red raspberries scattered throughout, and a crisp crunch on top of demerara sugar, this is a winner on all counts.
Of course you could be really hedonistic and top your serving with a huge dollop of clotted cream . . . but I'm being good these days. Low Fat Greek Yoghurt was my choice of topping today.
Delicious. Simple. Easy. Satisfying. The perfect Saturday morning breakfast.
*Baked French Toast with Berries*
Serves 6 to 8
Who doesn't love French Toast, or Eggy Bread as it is sometimes called. This is a simple easy version that is delicious and allows you to enjoy some time with your family and guests rather than keeping you chained to the stove.
750ml milk (a generous 3 cups)
4 large free range eggs
the finely grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp softened butter
80ml of pure Maple Syrup (approximately 1/3 cup)
8 to 10 slices of day old bread, crusts removed and torn into chunks
2 handfuls of berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, black currants, etc.)
2 TBS demerara sugar (turbinado)
Greek Yoghurt or Clotted Cream
Prreheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 10 inch round oven proof casserole dish. Set aside.
Whisk together the milk, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla.
Drizzle the maple syrup over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a layer of bread. Scatter some berries over top of the bread. Top with another layer of bread, and berries. Repeat until all is used up, making sure you have some berries on top. Pour the egg mixture over top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Serve warm with some Greek Yoghurt or if you are really feeling indulgent, clotted cream.