Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Heart Signes

If you ever noticed my little link list Things I Love, Signes Bakery, on Hilton Head Island, is on that list. Signes opened in 1972 and has been recognized my Southern Living Magazine, The New York Times and Travel & Leisure Magazine. Rachel Ray visited when she was doing her hit show $40 a Day for the Food Network.

I am all about the Chocolate Pecan Pie. However, I thought I would share with you Signes' recipe for Blackberry French Toast. Make it if you dare!

Recipe Summary:
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour (Bake off one full day ahead of serving.)
4 to 6 servings

1/2-pound loaf crusty French bread, sliced (not sourdough)
10 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon, for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen blackberries, defrosted, or 3/4 pint fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Spread the bread slices on a baking sheet and turn off the oven. Place the sheet in the oven and leave it overnight until the bread is dried.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and 1/4 cup sugar until all yolks are broken, and then add the milk and cream. Put the dried bread pieces on top of the egg mixture. Wait a few minutes, and then push the rest of the bread into the mixture and mix lightly. Place a small or medium casserole dish on a baking sheet that is lined with foil. Brush the dish with some of the melted butter.

Put half of the bread mixture in the dish to make a layer that covers the bottom. With a slotted spoon, arrange the berries evenly over the bread layer. Sprinkle the berries with sugar. Using your hands, pull out the remaining bread and create a second layer, arranging it evenly and patting down any crusts. With a spatula, stir the remaining egg mixture and pour over the top bread layer. Using a flat pastry brush, lightly brush the rest of the melted butter over the top. Bake the French toast until it rises up about 1-inch on the sides, about 1 hour. Remove form oven and let cool overnight.

Serving suggestion: The day you serve this breakfast (at least one day after baking), cut into 3 individual slices (1 inch thick each) and heat in microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Serve with sausage patties, fresh fruit and warm maple syrup. And watch your guests drool! Mmmmm, good!

This morning I'm going for Rachel's favorite, the deep dish french toast!

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