Twice a year the LDS church has a General Conference, where the members of the church gather together all over the world to watch a broadcast from the leaders of the church. Over the weekend, members are blessed to hear a total of 8 hours of uplifting talks and music. General Conference is a fun time in our household. When I was growing up it was a tradition that my mom would make popovers on the Sunday of General Conference and we would eat them together as we watched the meetings. I always loved that tradition, but have never continued it in my home. This year I have decided to start my own General Conference Sunday breakfast tradition – Blueberry French Toast Casserole. After some research I have created a recipe that, after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, will cook for 3-4 hours in the slow cooker on Sunday morning and be ready just in time for the first broadcast of Conference on Sunday morning at 10am.
- 1 loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1" cubes
- 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, frozen
- 1½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 cup white sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozenI)
- zest of one lemon
- juice of one lemon
- Place a crockpot liner in the crock of your slow cooker or spray with non-stick spray.
- Place half of the cubed bread into the crock.
- Cut 1 (8 oz. block) of frozen cream cheese into small pieces (this is easier to do if the cream cheese is frozen). Add to the crock.
- In a food processor, process the other (8 oz.) block of the frozen cream cheese. Immediately sprinkle this over the bread in the crock.
- Add the blueberries to the crock.
- Top with the remaining bread cubes.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Pour over bread mixture in crock. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to press the bread down to be sure that all of the bread is moistened.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove crock from the refrigerator and place in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high.
- If you would like a brown top, remove the crock from the slow cooker when it is finished cooking and put in a preheated 350° Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.
- About 30 minutes before the French toast is finished cooking, begin making the syrup by combining white sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining 3 cups blueberries and zest and juice of lemon. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until blueberries burst. Stir in butter. Serve over French toast.
2. To make this in the oven, us a 9x13 pan and bake 350° Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the center is nice and firm and the top is lightly browned.
My kids were whining and hungry (partly because they were actually hungry and partly because it smelled so yummy) before time for the casserole to be done in the slow cooker, so after only 2 hours in the slow cooker I moved it to a 350 Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes. So my casserole ended up being a half slow cooker half oven version of the recipe. This recipe is versatile in that it can be made either way. I do think that it is important to finish it up in the oven for a nice brown top. Many of the recipes in my favorite Slow Cooker cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen, finish in the oven. After I took it out of the oven I put it back into the slow cooker on warm to keep it warm. This picture shows it after it’s been in the oven and is back in the slow cooker. Doesn’t it look scrumptious?
I’m so happy I put the Crock Pot liner in there, this was a pretty messy recipe and would have taken quite an effort to clean. Also, if I had been making this for a brunch I could have removed this from the pot by lifting the liner out and moving the whole thing straight to a plate (I didn’t bother with this since it was just my family eating it).
Hubby felt like this French Toast Casserole was more like a bread pudding. If you prefer a more solid French Toast Casserole, I suggest that you follow your notes and reduce the egg mixture and/or amount of cream cheese. I LOVE bread pudding, so I was happy with the Casserole this way. My kids loved it too.
The syrup was very easy to make. There was some left over, which was no problem in my mind. It will be delicious on just about anything. My 10 year old daughter loves EGGO waffles for an after school snack, and this will be a nice change from the regular maple syrup she eats on them. It would be great on vanilla ice cream too.
I made this for General Conference today, April 6th, 2014, but some years General Conference is held on Easter Sunday. Those are some of my favorite sessions! I think this would be a great dish for Easter Sunday, so I’m hosting a Easter/Passover Recipe Roundup from now until the evening before Easter. I hope you’ll link up all of your favorite Easter or Passover Recipes for us to enjoy. There are no rules. Just link up and enjoy! Starting on April18th, 2014 at 8pm EST there will be a vote for the favorite, so link up your very best & come back some time between the 16th and the 20th to cast your vote! If you want to invite your friends or followers to vote for your recipe, encourage them to come as well! I will feature the winner on my Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter Pages, offer the winner 1 month of advertising space on my blog and I will provide a “Featured” button for you to include on your blog.
NEXT MONTH – Mother’s Day Roundup! Starts April 21th!
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