White Cheddar Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Sharp white cheddar cheese adds unexpected savory notes to a traditionally sweet breakfast treat. – Catherine Klene


2 cups frozen wild blueberries
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. orange zest
½ tsp. cinnamon
8 eggs
¾ cup milk
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 loaf day-old challah bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
1½ cups shredded white cheddar


• In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, sugar, water and maple syrup. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently and smashing the berries with a spoon until they begin to break down. Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest and cinnamon. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
• Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
• Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray; add the blueberry mixture and spread evenly. Cover with the challah, then gently pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Sprinkle the top with the cheddar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic from the dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the custard is set.
• Turn the broiler to high, then brown the top until the cheese is bubbly and golden, about 5 minutes.