It’s late in the day, and we get to see the ladies coming up the road, just a minute behind us, being chased by a sweet but slightly lackadaisical border collie named Sugar and the woman farmer bringing up the rear. The cows move slowly but surely as my children jump euphorically and stare and clap their hands.
If I were a poet, I would write an ode to Vermont farmers. For sure, they have a huge place in my family’s heart. They give us fresh everything, grow and tend their farms organically, and blow our mind’s with the flavor and love in infused in the food.
Since I am not a poet, we made this dish with the fresh milk, fresh eggs, maple syrup tapped from local trees, blueberries from the greenmarket and all the gratitude we have in our hearts. To make this even more special, we served it as breakfast for dinner. Our favorite!
Note: If you want to quickly make your bread “stale”, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and spread your bread slices out on a baking sheet. Cook for a few minutes until just dry but not at all brown. If you are making this for a crowd or want to have things ready to go for an early morning breakfast, you can make the sandwiches the night before and let them soak in the egg mixture in the refrigerator overnight, covered in plastic wrap. Take them out in the morning, bring them to room temperature and pop in a preheated oven. They almost turn out better this way.
Blueberry French Toast Sandwiches
- one loaf of challah or other favorite bread, dried out (see note) and cut into 1-inch slices
- 7 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/3 c. milk, room temperature
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- 2 t. vanilla
- 1 t. cinnamon + more to dust the top of the sandwiches
- 1 t. lemon or orange zest
- 1 1/2 c. blueberries
- small pinch of salt
- 6 T. unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Together: Using about a tablespoon of your melted butter, grease a 9 x 11 inch pan (if you need more room, you can choose to cut your challah slices in half to make everything fit or to use a square pan in addition to the 9×11). Layer half of the bread slices into the bottom of the pan(s) you are using. Top with about half of the blueberries. Place the other half of the bread slices on top, and layer the rest of the blueberries on top of that. Set aside while you make the egg mixture.
- In a large bowl, break the eggs into the bowl. This is the perfect time to practice egg cracking and to practice scooping out any pieces of shell that might make their way into the bowl before adding the other ingredients. Everything besides the melted butter can be added once you are clear of egg shells. Have your mini chef whisk it all together till it is well combined.
- Pour the egg mixture over the blueberry sandwiches into the pan, trying to get some over every bit of the top of the sandwiches. If, when pouring, you miss some of the top slices of bread, use a large spoon to scoop up some of the egg mixture and pour it over the dry spots.
- Dust the tops of the sandwiches with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
- Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Big Person: Slide the pan into the oven on the middle rack and cook for 30 minutes with the pan covered. Then, remove the foil and cook another 25-30 minutes or until the tops of the sandwiches begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven to cool slightly.
- Cut the sandwiches into servings and plate them. Spoon a little of the melted butter on top of them. Serve alongside more warm maple syrup.