Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding / French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding
I grew up in Canada where Sunday Brunch is a really big deal but in England where I live now, it’s Sunday lunch that is the culinary focus of the day. While brunch can be a range of treats from the scrumptious egg and bacon feasts my Dad used to prepare when I was growing up to pancakes or even a buffet, Sunday lunch is more prescribed and generally involves some sort of roast, potatoes and two vegetables plus a dessert. Bearing in mind our household consists of two dual citizens and a pure bred Brit we tend to alternate between the two. Honestly? I still prefer brunch!

The gorgeous thing about this recipe is that it is perfect for either meal, whether you want to call it Blueberry French Toast Casserole and serve it as part of a brunch feast or use it as dessert at Sunday lunch as Blueberry Bread and Butter pudding.

Recently I’ve seen a number of variations on Blueberry French Toast Casserole online. The first one I saw, the one that got me thinking about this recipe, was Baked Blueberry Pecan French Toast from Stella B’s Kitchen. I was going to try Stella’s recipe, but then I remembered my adaptation of Paula Deen’s French Toast Casserole so I decided I would try adding blueberries to that.

When made my French Toast Casserole and added blueberries for a brunch with friends, everyone raved about it. A few weeks later, I made it again, but served it as Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding for Sunday lunch. Everyone raved about it then too. It was all going so well, I decided to make Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding for a dinner party not long after that. The best bit was throwing it together in the morning, letting it sit all day and then just baking it while we ate our meal. This recipe is so versatile, so easy and so delicious, I can’t help but think I might start experimenting with some other fruits as well. In the meantime, whether you call it Blueberry French Toast Casserole or Blueberry Bread and Butter pudding, I’m sure you will love it.

I’m not going admit that one day we had this for brunch and then ate the rest for dessert that evening, but I will say that gently reheated within a day of serving, the leftovers do taste awfully nice. If you use a microwave for reheating, be careful that the blueberries are not too hot when you eat it.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole
or Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding

Serves 6 generously

You need an 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

For the Casserole/Pudding
butter for greasing the baking dish
1 large loaf of French bread or 1 large baguette
8 large eggs
2 cups single (light) cream or half and half
1 cup milk
(I used half fat/semi skimmed, but you could use full fat/whole milk if you wanted to be really decadent)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of salt

For the Praline and Blueberry Topping

¾ cup butter, slightly softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1½ cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup, corn syrup or mild honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and well drained

Generously butter the baking dish. Slice bread into one inch slices. Arrange the slices in two overlapping rows. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half (single cream), milk, sugar, vanilla, spices and salt and beat with a whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour the mixture over the bread carefully, making sure all the slices are well coated. Use a spoon to bathe the bread slices in some of the custard which has sunk to the bottom. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least eight hours or overnight.

When you are ready to bake the casserole / pudding preheat the oven to 350℉ (170℃).

Meanwhile, make the Praline. Combine all the praline ingredients except the blueberries together. This can be a bit fiddly, so I use a fork. Blend well.

Take the casserole out of the refrigerator and make sure all the bread is well coated with the custard. If not, push it down a little with a fork once again.

Spread the Praline Topping over the top of the casserole. You may need to use your fingers as it is very crumbly and you want to be sure to spread it as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the blueberries over top and gently press them into the casserole / pudding so that they are surrounded by the praline topping.

Bake for 40 minutes or until puffy and golden. Allow to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving warm.

Bread and butter pudding is often served with more cream to pour over top in England, so when I serve this recipe as bread and butter pudding, I usually put a small jug out just in case people want to help themselves. I have to say, they rarely do. It’s really good just as it comes.

Shared with Inspire Me Monday, Delicious Dish TuesdaySweet Tooth FridayBake with BizzyA Little Birdie Told Me

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1255 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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