Blueberry Oatmeal Streusel French Toast with Warm Maple-Rum Sauce
This is one of the recipes I cooked from The Art of Breakfast: How to Bring B & B Entertaining Home, by Dana Moos. There are links at the bottom of the page to the other recipes I tried. If you would like to see my full review of her book and an interview with the author, please click here.
French toast is another dish which is big in north America, but not so in the UK. I really think that the UK has something to learn from the north American breakfast (not that there’s nothing to recommend the British offering!). I truly believe that those cuisines that eschew a cooked breakfast – I’m thinking continental Europe here – are missing out on something very special. Sliced cheese and pastries are all very well, in addition, not instead of!
Eggs done in one of the truly staggering number of delicious, creative ways. Warm, handmade bread and cold butter. Garlicky, sautéed mushrooms. Crispy-brown, salty, creamy potatoes. Oozy, melted, unpasteurised cheeses. Tangy, tomatoey delicilousness. Perhaps a freshly-baked blueberry and cinnamon crumble muffin for special occasions. Home-pressed juices – grapefruit, carrot, raspberry, lime… This is my ideal brunch, an ideal that Leopold and I realise almost every weekend. Health and nutrition rule on weekdays. The weekend is sacred.
So this is a special occasion dish for me. Not so different from the above mentioned muffin. A creamy, custardy French toast base, topped with a truly amazing streusel/crumble topping. I do not use the word amazing lightly – the caramelised, oaty, crunchy sweetness is absolutely gorgeous and should be liberally applied to a wide variety of foods.
- 60g pecans, chopped
- 6 slices thick-cut bread (see note below)
- 150g blueberries (or other berries)
- 4 large eggs
- 185g milk
- 180g double cream
- 25g light brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 60g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon glucose syrup (or corn syrup)
- 75g rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
- 5 scrapes freshly ground nutmeg
- fresh blueberries, for garnish
- 180g double/heavy cream
- 30g dark brown sugar
- 40g maple syrup
- 45g or 3 tablespoons + 1.5 tablespoons spiced rum
- 4g/1.5 teaspoons cornflour
- Preheat the oven to 175c/350f. Grease a 23cm/9" by 30cm/12" glass baking dish with butter or oil.
- Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 15 minutes - keep them in one layer so they cook evenly. Set aside.
- Cut the bread into 2cm/1" cubes and layer evenly in the greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the berries.
- For the streusel, cream together the butter, sugar and glucose syrup - I used a stand mixer with the paddle fitted, about two minutes. Fold in the nuts, oats and nutmeg until just combined. Set aside.
- Mix together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon - I used a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, or you can use a blender. Pour the custard mixture over the bread.
- Distribute the topping over the custard-soaked bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight (I had been worried that the custard would soak into the streusel overnight, but it was fine).
- Bring the dish to room temperature before baking. When you are ready, preheat the oven to 190c/375f. Bake covered in foil for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 135c/275f and bake for another 10 minutes. Make sure the topping is well browned and thoroughly cooked before removing from the oven.
- Rest for 10 minutes (otherwise it will not hold its shape when sliced) before serving.
- In a medium saucepan, mix together the cream, sugar, maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of rum. Bring to a slow boil over low heat.
- Dissolve the cornflour in the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of rum and whisk the mixture into the cream. Cook until thickened, about two minutes. Serve warm.
- After resting, slice down middle (I used a serrated blade), then into three slices. Drizzle over the sauce and garnish with fresh berries.
- Great for making ahead! When cool, cover and store in the fridge for a few days or freeze for up to three weeks. Reheat in a low oven until the bottom is warmed through and the top is toasted.
- Use a well-structured bread. We experimented with a very soft, squishy white bread with little internal structure and it made the bottom of the French toast a little soggy.
Check out the other recipes I cooked from The Art of Breakfast:
Grapefruit Brûlée with Vanilla Bean Crème
Potato-Parmesan Wedges with Horseradish Sour Cream
What’s your idea of a perfect brunch? Do you prefer the cheese-potato-egg-tomato end of the spectrum or sweet, decadent treats such as the recipe above? I’d love to hear what gets you excited on a Saturday morning.