Fortunately, I have a daughter who reminds me that, just because I like something it doesn't mean others will. We invited people this past weekend for Sunday brunch. We did not know the people. We all had a connection to the "French Boy" that was still visiting this past weekend.
In August, the majority of my cooking is dictated by what's growing in my garden. Right now I have beautiful lettuces; the result of a very cool summer.
And look at these beets! The bright red are Chioga; the darker ones, Detroit Red.
I roasted the beets, then diced the dark red and sliced the Chioga. Could there be anything more magnificent? This platter is awaiting a drizzle of a vinaigrette and a sprinkling of Maytag Blue cheese and toasted walnuts (get my recipe here). I also assembled and baked two tomato tarts. We dined on the patio.
Luckily, the night before the brunch my daughter told me I had to have something to eat besides the tomato tarts and the beet salad. Even tho' I would be perfectly happy eating that, others may not like it. She was right... our guests were obviously not tomato and beet lovers (go figure!). They did, however, devour the Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast.
Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
Gourmet Magazine | June 1999
• a 24-inch baguette
• 6 large eggs
• 3 cups whole milk
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup pecans
• 1/2 stick ( 1/4 cup ) plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups blueberries
• 1 cup blueberries
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Cut twenty 1-inch slices from baguette and arrange in one layer in baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla, and 3/4 cup brown sugar and pour evenly over bread. Chill mixture, covered, until all liquid is absorbed by bread, at least 8 hours, and up to 1 day.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
3. In a shallow baking pan spread pecans evenly and toast in middle of oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Toss pecans in pan with 1 teaspoon butter and salt.
4. Increase temperature to 400˚F.
5. Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over bread mixture. Cut 1/2 stick butter into pieces and in a small saucepan, heat with remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, stirring, until butter is melted. Drizzle butter mixture over bread and bake mixture 20 minutes, or until any liquid from blueberries is bubbling.
6. Make syrup while French toast is baking: In a small saucepan cook blueberries and maple syrup over moderate heat until berries have burst, about 3 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a heat-proof pitcher, pressing on solids, and stir in lemon juice. Syrup may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat syrup before serving.