Blueberry Maple Pecan French Toast Casserole

2 large loaves of french bread (day old an stale is good!)
6 large eggs
3 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar (divided)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 stick butter plus 1 tbsp
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup pecans
salt, to taste
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the syrup: in a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1 cup blueberries. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until berries have burst. You can strain the syrup if you want to, but I like to leave the blueberries in. Add lemon juice.

For the nuts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans on a baking sheet sheet and toast about 6-7 minutes until fragrant. Toss with 1 Tbsp butter and some salt (to taste) and set aside.

Cut French bread into 1" pieces. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread the bread cubes in the pan (You may not need to use all of them). Whisk together milk, eggs, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour over the top of the bread, cover and let stand 1 hour or overnight in fridge. If you want to make these individual sized like I did, just spread the bread crumbs and milk mixture evenly between your ramekins. You will probably have more filling than you need, just gauge it by your eye. I halve the recipe when I make individual servings. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Layer the 2 cups of blueberries over the bread, then sprinkle the toasted pecans over the blueberries. 

Heat 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a small sauce pan. When butter has melted drizzle over the bread. Bake for 1 hour or until puffed up and browned, and liquid from blueberries is bubbling. Casserole may need to cook longer if its taken directly from the refrigerator than if at room temp. When done, allow the casserole to sit for at least 10 minutes to set up.

Now drizzle some of that warm Honey Blueberry Maple Syrup over the top….and a little cream…if you’re bad – like me.