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French Toast Casserole with Lemon and Berries

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This recipe was introduced actually from one of my residents at Mercy Ministries a couple weeks ago and I wanted to try it out. I found a couple different recipes online and adapted them into my own.  Here is a link to the original recipe. This place has TONS of great ideas Five Heart Home (click here)

French toast with Lemon and Blueberry _DSC0104

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 1 pound loaf, which will yield 9 to 10 cups)
    • You can also use gluten free bread
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (other sugar may work as well, maybe coconut sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest, DIVIDED
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh berries of your choice.
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk (raw, preferred)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Lemon Simple Syrup: 

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Generously butter (or coat with cooking spray) a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange half of the bread cubes in the bottom of the dish.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Spoon small dollops of cream cheese mixture all over the bread cubes in the baking dish, gently spreading cream cheese with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle berries in a single layer over the cream cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and salt until well blended. Evenly pour custard over bread cubes, gently pressing down on any cubes that are sticking up so that all bread gets soaked with egg mixture.
  4. Cover baking dish tightly and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, uncover baking dish and allow to come to room temperature while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center is puffed and surface is golden brown. If bread is starting to brown too much before casserole is done, you may lay a sheet of foil over the top and continue baking until done.
  5. While French toast is baking, make the Lemon Simple Syrup. In a small pot, whisk together water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest until well blended. Set pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until syrup has thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.
  6. When French toast is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving warm with Lemon Syrup drizzled on top.

 

That is it!! Hope you enjoy!

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