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Blue Duck Baguette French Toast Casserole by Lauren Lombardi, Photography by David Benthal
If you’d like your house to smell like nostalgic Sunday morning breakfasts, this is your recipe. The scent of a cinnamon custard-drowned baguette baking in the oven will fill the air to welcome guests. The North Fork’s own Blue Duck Bakery has the most delicious traditional baguettes — they never make it home in one piece when traveling in my car! I immediately thought of them for this recipe and absolutely love the way they soak up the breakfast flavors. Prep this the day before to let it soak overnight.
Prep Time 25minutes
Total Time 1hour
Blue Duck Baguette French Toast Casserole
2Blue Duck Bakery French baguettesends trimmed
1 1/2cupsorganic whole milk
1 1/2cupsorganic heavy cream
1/2tspvanilla pasteor 1 vanilla bean, scooped out and bean discarded
Frutti di Bosco Sauce
4cupsmixed berries of your choicestrawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
1 8ozpackage of mascarpone
Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by coating it with cooking spray or unsalted butter. Set aside.
Slice down about 1 inch from the top of the baguette to create thick slices, carefully leaving them attached at the bottom of the loaf.
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, vanilla paste and lemon zest. Pour mixture evenly over the sliced baguettes. Make sure mixture is distributed between all the bread slices and begins to marinate the bread. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.
The following morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. About 45 minutes before the guests arrive, place the casserole dish into the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
In a saucepan, stir together the washed fruit (leave 1 cup mixed fruit on the side for later), sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until the berries are starting to break down, about 10 minutes. Use a hand blender or transfer to a food processor to gently pulse the cooked berries. Once mixture is partly puréed, transfer back to saucepan and stir in the remaining 1 cup of mixed berries. Keep warm until serving.
Spoon the mascarpone into a mixing bowl and begin beating with a hand mixer on medium speed. Slowly pour in the heavy cream. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue to mix on high until soft peaks form. Continue until peaks become firmer, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Just before serving, top the mascarpone with the lemon zest.
Before serving, pour the Frutti di Bosco sauce lightly on the bread and dollop the mascarpone cream throughout the surface of the bread. Scoop the slices on to each plate and enjoy!