Baked Butter-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who love breakfast.
And those who don't.

I was anti-breakfast for most of my childhood.



Unless it involved doughnuts.

You see, I was an egg-hater for a very, very long time. I just couldn't abide eggs. The way they smelled. Or the way they looked or the way they tasted or that weird silky smooth gross texture. For years, I would not, could not eat eggs.
And then one day, not too long ago I overcame my ovaphobia.
Everyday, for the past week, I have eaten an egg for lunch. (Protein!) So miracles really do happen.
Anyway, my egg loathing often made breakfast a contentious issue.

Once I was reduced to eating spaghetti at a brunch.

Not that my ten year old self minded.
But breakfast is an intensely personal meal.
It has to be just so.

That's why I resisted for so long. When going out for breakfast I was always dissatisfied, the pancakes were never as good as they were at home, the doughnuts never as delicious, the syrup fake, the orange juice from concentrate... I'll stop before you go jump off a very tall building. This is just getting worse and worse:
The troubles of living in a wealthy first-world country! When will the suffering end?
Anyway, the real point of the rambling is that I have Come Around To Breakfast If It Is Done Right.
As part of my, "It's for the blog," experimination tactic, I made my favorite cousin drive me to the grocery store at 10 p.m. the night before just so I could make it.

THE CONSENSUS ON THE FIRST BAKED FRENCH TOAST I EVER BAKED:
There are two kinds of people in the world: people who like bread pudding and people who don't.

My family split squarly down the middle when it came to a rating for this Baked Butter-Pecan French Toast and Blueberry Syrup dish . Sure, they all ATE it, but that doesn't neccesaily mean they approved.

My little brother Michael, heartily approved. Michael loves bread pudding. He liked this a lot. He had a second helping. He gives it a **** 1/2 asterick approval rating.

My mom liked it, but ate only one portion, because it was very "filling". I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. She thought it was good, but found the blueberry syrup overwhelming, and preferred it simply with fresh blueberries and syrup. ****

My littler brother, Jacob, after completely finishing his portion, and practically licking his plate, decided that he didn't like it. I honestly don't even pretend to understand the way his mind works sometime **1/2?

My dad ate it, and, like Jacob, told me, after finishing, that he didn't particularily care for it. He told me he didn't like the texture very much. He doesn't like "breakfasty casserole things." He also doesn't like bread pudding. **

Me?

I had mixed feelings.

I liked it. And I didn't mind eating it. I really liked the pieces around the edge of the pan, which were crisper and more crackly, it was a party in my mouth. I found the blueberry syrup delicious, but thought that it overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the actual french toast. Like my dad, I thought that it was on the unappealing mushy side. And here's the killer. I didn't think the toast without syrup was very attractive. I like food to be pretty. And it just wasn't. *** 1/2

This is not a ringing endorsement of a recipe. But I'm being honest. It was good, but simply one of those things that you either love or despise, or are like me, simply lukewarm about. Give it a go, comment, reflect, tell me about your morning eating experiences, share, kiss, commend, recommend. I'd love to hear your adventures with French Toast.

Baked Butter-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
from Gourmet Today

1 (24-inch-long) baguette
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup pecans lightly toasted at 350 F for about 5 minutes or until deliciously fragrant

For Syrup
1 cup blueberries
1/2 pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Make the French Toast: Generously butter a 13x9 inch baking dish. Cut twenty 1-inch-thick slices from baguette and arrange in one layer in baking dish.
Whisk toether eggs, milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined and pour evenly over bread. Let bread soak for 10 minutes. Turn slices and cover surface with a large sheet of plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang on each end of baking dish. If necessary place a smaller dish on top to keep bread submerged. Refrigerate mixture until all liquid is absorbed, at least 8 hours.
Put rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine butter, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, and cream in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in pecans.
Spoon pecan mixture evenly over bread. Bake until bread is puffed, edges are lightly browned and liquid is absorbed, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile make syrup: Combine blueberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan and cook over moderate heat until berries burst, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
Serve toast with syrup.

Consume. Form lengthy, wordy opinion. Post on internet. Realize that you really spend more time than is healthy thinking about breakfast issues. See therapist.