Quilters raved about this company-worthy breakfast dish we enjoyed at a recent
quilting weekend.  

Blueberry Pecan French Toast

6        challah bread
6        large eggs
3        cups whole milk
½        teaspoon nutmeg
1        teaspoon vanilla
1        cup brown sugar
1        cup pecans
½        stick unsalted butter, + 1tsp.
¼        teaspoon salt
2        cups blueberries (about 12oz)
1        cup blueberries (for syrup)
½        cup maple syrup
1        tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For Syrup:  Cook blueberries and maple syrup until berries burst (about 3 minutes).  
Pour through a sieve into a heat proof pitcher, pressing solids, and stir in the lemon
juice.  (can be made a day ahead.  Serve warm.)

For Toast:  Butter a 9x13 baking dish.  Cut the challah into 1 inch cubes and toss
into the baking dish.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla and
¾ cup brown sugar.  Pour this evenly over the bread.  Chill, covered, until the mixture
is absorbed (at least 8 hours and up to one day).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a shallow baking pan, spread the pecans and toast
until fragrant (about 8 minutes).  Sprinkle with 1tsp. butter and the salt.  (This can be
done in a frying pan on top of the stove, very carefully.  Use low to medium heat.)

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle pecans and blueberries over
bread mixture.  Cut ½ stick of butter and heat in a small saucepan with ¼ cup of
brown sugar.  Drizzle over bread and bake 30 minutes, until any liquid from the
blueberries bubbles and the casserole is firm.

NOTE:  For a change, instead of brown sugar in the custard, substitute stale donuts
and/or cheese Danish for ½ the bread.  Just break up the donuts and Danish into
1-inch cubes and place on the baking dish with the challah.
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