Prep: 30 minutes plus chilling and standing • Bake: 1 hour • Serves: 15
2 cups half & half
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2/3 (16-ounce) loaf day-old sourdough or French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 packages (6 ounces each) blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. In large bowl, beat eggs; whisk in half & half, syrup, lemon zest, cinnamon and almond extract.
2. In 13 x 9-inch baking dish, evenly spread half the bread. Evenly top bread with cream cheese and half the blueberries; top with remaining bread. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture; press down gently with back of spoon to submerge bread. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350°; remove French toast from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes. Bake French toast, covered, 30 minutes; uncover and bake 30 minutes longer or until top is golden brown.
4. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, water and cornstarch; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining blueberries; cook 4 minutes or until blueberries burst. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and butter. Pour blueberry mixture over French toast. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Approximate nutritional values per serving: 342 Calories, 17g Fat (10g Saturated), 195mg Cholesterol, 274mg Sodium, 33g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 10g Protein
Frozen blueberries can be substituted for fresh; do not thaw before using.