CRUNCHY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST WITH BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

Submitted by Audrey Alfaro


About the cook: I'm Audrey. I'm a rockstar mom, okay wife and foul-mouthed chef from Anchorage, Alaska. I love horror flicks, fried chicken and vodka. Not together, but just in general. When I'm not cooking, you can find me at thrift stores or feeding the homeless. I'm a food columnist for the Spokesman Review, costume maker extraordinaire, a perfectionist, and lover of all things edible. I was once on a show on MTV and a contestant on Food Network's Halloween Baking Championship. Whipped cream was used on both. CHEERS!

About the dish: A breakfast treat my aunt shared with me; it's French toast that’s crusted in Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and stuffed with sweetened cream cheese, and served with a blueberry compote.



National Origin: American

Serves: 4

Estimated Time: Under 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

FILLING:

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pinch of salt



FRENCH TOAST:

1 loaf brioche or French bread, 12-16 1/2-inch-thick slices

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 salt

1/4 cup flour

4-5 cups Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, crushed

1 stick unsalted butter, for cooking



BLUEBERRY TOPPING:

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

6 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet, set aside.

In a small bowl, add the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, powdered sugar and salt and beat until smooth.

Spread generously and evenly on half of the slices of bread and top with remaining slices.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Put the crushed cereal in another shallow dish. Soak the bread in the egg mixture, turning once, about 20 seconds per side. (Remove before the bread is soggy.) Then dredge both sides of the soaked bread in the crushed cereal, pressing gently to help it adhere. Place on plate and repeat with remaining stuffed slices.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet or griddle, over medium-low heat. Cooking in batches of 2, add the coated French toast to the melted butter and cook until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add another tablespoon of butter, flip over and continue cooking the other side until golden. Transfer cooked French toast on prepared rack on baking sheet. Place in oven to finish cooking until the center is warm, about 15 minutes.

While its baking, start the topping. In a small saucepan, add the blueberries, sugar, flour, water, lemon juice and salt. Stir until thickened over medium heat, about 10 minutes.

Serve French toast sliced in half and topped with warm blueberry sauce.

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