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Make Ahead Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

by Laura on January 22, 2010


The roots of this recipe are kind of interesting. This is actually almost exactly what I served on Christmas morning, only with a lemon syrup and I never wrote down what I did. And I never found the energy to remember. Then I acquired this fabulous new cookbook, Bake Until Bubbly, by Clifford A. Wright, and he has a recipe that looks very similar to mine.

So I made his. And it was great too, although I think I liked the lemon syrup better than the blueberry syrup–and therefore preferred more blueberries in the casserole. Since his is written out and I can therefore remember how I changed it, I will give you it–and tell you I increased the blueberries for mine (since I was not using a blueberry syrup), I used a simple syrup of lemon juice and sugar, and I used lemon zest in the casserole. I might have used more cream cheese, since it was, after all, Christmas morning. Other than they were pretty darn similar.

These are pics of the Christmas morning casserole.

No matter which way you make the casserole, it is an awesome breakfast. Barely any work–and what work it is is done the night before. On Christmas, I served it with bacon. This most recent time I did not bother. Whether to serve it with meat depends on how formal the occasion is and how early you are eating (i.e., do you need the extra protein to last you til lunch).

Make Ahead Blueberry Breakfast Casserole
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: casserole
 
Adapted from Bake Until Bubbly, Wright
Ingredients
  • to assemble the casserole:
  • 14 oz stale bread, cubed (I used a leftover lean-dough multigrain artisan style bread)
  • ⅓ lb cream cheese, cubed
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • zest of 1 orange (reserve the orange for the next morning)
  • 3 T sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used cream and 1% because that is what I had)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • for the blueberry sauce:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • ¾ cup water
  • juice of 1 orange (use the one that was zested the night before)
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 t unsalted butter
  • lemon or lime juice to taste (Wright calls for ¾ t but I needed several T)
Instructions
  1. Lightly butter a 9X12 casserole dish. Place half of the bread cubes into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the blueberries over these, along with the cubed cream cheese. Then sprinkle the other half of the cubed bread.
  2. Whisk together the orange zest, eggs, milk, salt, sugar and maple syrup. Pour it over the prepared casserole dish. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while the oven heats up. After the 30 minutes, place the casserole, still covered with foil, into the oven. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the blueberry sauce: Blend the sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Mix in the water. Place over medium high heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens and becomes clear (it will boil), about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the blueberries and salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the blueberries burst, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon or lime juice to taste--tasting every teaspoon or so. Set aside and cover to keep warm until the casserole is done.

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh & Kandice January 23, 2010 at 2:27 am

Wow! This looks amazing! I'm always looking for different breakfast items to try. One question though, do the eggs seem to cook into the bread?

Reply

Josh & Kandice January 23, 2010 at 2:27 am

Wow! This looks amazing! I'm always looking for different breakfast items to try. One question though, do the eggs seem to cook into the bread?

Reply

Matteo January 23, 2010 at 3:20 am

Double WOW!!!!
So simple and so delicious!I love blueberries (…berries in general) and this is a good way to change the italian classic breakfast. And what about the blueberry sauce: wonderful!!!

Reply

Joanne January 23, 2010 at 6:25 am

I would love to wake up to this! It looks incredibly delicious. I could see myself eating this as a dessert!

Reply

HoneyB January 23, 2010 at 7:55 am

I would love this! I need to have some friends over for brunch so I can make it! Looks yummy Laura!

Reply

Laura January 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

Josh and Candice: I am not sure what you mean. This dish is basically a version of a bread pudding, so the stale bread is meant to absorb the egg mixture, much like French toast. Does that help?

Reply

ErinM January 23, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Hey Laura, google my name on the BB…I've been making something like this for our Christmas morning breakfast for at least 5 years now. It's very similar to the recipe you posted but I think it's more of what you might be looking for…and a bit easier, too!

Reply

Jamie January 24, 2010 at 10:01 am

Yum does this look delicious! Really the perfect breakfast! Or afternoon snack for that matter. Love the combination of great flavors with the blueberries!

Reply

grace January 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

how awesome. i suspect that the tiny hint of orange contributes quite a bit to the deliciousness of this comfort food. it's terrific, laura!

Reply

Bergamot January 25, 2010 at 5:31 am

This looks good and since you can prepare it the day before makes it a suitable breakfast option.

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