Make this delicious French toast with the berries added on top or baked right in. Either way, it’s easy to make and sure to please a crowd any time of the year.
- 6 thick slices (about 3/4-inch/2 cm) whole wheat bread
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
- 4 cups (1 L) fresh or frozen mixed berries, (thawed and drained if frozen)
Butter a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) glass baking dish. Arrange bread in a single-layer dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon until blended; whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) brown sugar, pecans and melted butter. Spread berries evenly over bread mixture; sprinkle with pecan mixture.
Bake for 35 to 40 min or until bread is puffed in the centre and fruit is bubbling.
“This recipe is special because my mother made it as an Easter treat the year she passed away,” says Catherine Agar, the recipe creator and a dairy farmer from Salford, Ontario. “I treasure all her recipes — they bring back great memories of my family in the kitchen and of sharing meals around the table.”
Buy a loaf of dense, bakery-style bread and cut thick slices. If the loaf is fresh-baked, let them dry at room temperature for a couple of hours before assembling the dish. Better yet, use bread that is a day or two old (but not stale or spoiled).
Tip for Kids: This is a recipe that even kids can prepare (with supervision for younger ones) and make a special treat for the family. Cracking eggs, measuring, whisking, pouring and sprinkling are easy techniques for even the youngest budding chefs.
In the topping, replace the brown sugar with 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated maple sugar. Use different soft fruit as it comes into season; try cherries, peaches, apricots and nectarines along with berries or instead of them.
You can find many of the Milk Calendar recipes at dairygoodness.ca.