Makes a lovely Mother's Day or special occasion brunch. From Mary Ann Vitale of La Taverna restaurant and Sorella della Taverna (in La Jolla, California).
- 6 -8 plain croissants, cut in half lengthwise
- 6 eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 1 orange, zest of
- 1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup pecans
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, plus
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- For the French toast: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the croissant halves in the baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, nutmeg, vanilla, Grand Marnier, orange zest, 1/4 cup brown sugar, white sugar and salt. Pour this mixture over the croissants. Cover the baking dish and chill until all of the liquid is absorbed, at least 2 hours.
- For the topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a shallow baking pan, spread the pecans evenly and toast until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss pecans with the 1 teaspoon butter and salt.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the croissant mixture. Melt 1/4 cup butter with 1/4 cup brown sugar, stirring until the butter is melted. Drizzle this mixture over the baking dish and bake for 20 inutes, or until the liquid from the blueberries is bubbling.
- For the blueberry syrup: In a small saucepan, cook blueberries and maple syrup over moderate heat until berries have burst, about 3 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve; stir in the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle the croissant French toast with toasted pecans. Serve with the syrup.
This was a real tasy breakfast! I did change a few things, though. I used orange juice instead of the alcohol, and I didn't have brown sugar (what baker doesn't have brown sugar...) so I just used white sugar. I also didn't see that this had to soak for 2 hours, so it only soaked 30 minutes. Given those changes, it still turned out pretty good. I imagine the texture would be even better, but it still had a light texture. The taste was great! I also almost thought that the lemon was too much when I tasted the syrup. Next time, I will use less lemon - maybe 1 tsp versus 1 Tbsp. When I rate recipes, I give no stars for a recipe that I have changed significantly that (the way I prepared it) would have received anything less than 5 stars. If I try this again, I'll follow it more closely so I feel like I can rate it appropriately.
My, oh, my! When I found my croissants beginning to grow mold, I was none too happy but I didn't know this was waiting in the wings! I didn't want to go out shopping, so I made do with what I had on hand and made the following modifications - 1)I cut the croissants in cubes after I cut out the mold spots. 2)I had only five croissants so I reduced the amount of half & half to 1/2 cup. 3)I had no oranges so I added 1/2 tsp of orange extract. 4)I increased the nutmeg to 1/2 tsp 5)I had no blueberries so I just used the pecans, butter and brown sugar on top. It's a rare dish that will rate consumption by 100% of the members of my household, and this was one of them. I'll be tinkering with this one a bit to try to get a healthier version -- but that would leave out the croissants. Maybe when the multigrain bread grows mold. Very easy, nothing tricky about this one.