“This French toast could also be used as a bread pudding for a lightly sweet dessert. At The Center we serve it at breakfast with Greek yogurt for added protein,” says Executive Chef Peggy Parten. “Just a little drizzle of maple syrup and it is a perfect brunch.” French toast needs a night to absorb its juices, so start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it.
Recipe excerpted from The Center for Discovery cookbook Feeding the Heart: Recipes, Flavors and the Seed to Belly Philosophy of the Department of Nourishment Arts.
- 2 Cups orange juice
- 12 large eggs
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon fresh grated orange zest
- 1 1/3 Cup milk
- 1/8 Teaspoon salt
- 3 Cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained if frozen)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 quarts whole wheat bread in ½-inch cubes, loosely packed (about 2 pounds)
- 2 Cups cottage cheese
- 1/2 Cup sliced almonds
- maple syrup
- greek yogurt (optional)
Use the butter to grease a baking pan measuring about 10 x 12 x 4 inches.
Pour the orange juice into a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and reduce to half the volume. Cool.
In a medium bowl, beat the reduced juice, eggs, orange zest, milk and salt until well-blended.
In a small bowl combine blueberries and sugar.
Arrange half the bread cubes in the baking pan. Dollop the cottage cheese on top, then evenly distribute the blueberries over the cheese. Top with the remaining bread cubes.
Pour the juice-egg mixture over the top and cover with a layer of parchment paper. Wrap the baking dish in aluminum foil and refrigerate, allowing the bread to absorb the liquid overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the French toast from the refrigerator and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 20 to 30 minutes. The center should be just barely set. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.
Sprinkle each serving with almonds and drizzle a little maple syrup on top. Serve with ½ cup Greek-style yogurt, if you like.