Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blueberry Wine Breakfast Syrup for Blueberry Challah French Toast

It is widely known that challah bread makes the best french toast.  This weekend I had an extra package of frozen blueberries in my freezer after baking some beautiful Blueberry Cheesecake Challah Rolls.  I knew the berries were destined for a batch of blueberry syrup for the french toast I've been craving!  The french toast was delicious, but the real star of this dish is its super blueberry topping of Blueberry Wine Breakfast Syrup, made in honor of The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council's "little blue dynamo" recipe contest!  This syrup tastes of the berries of summer and the warmth of the winter holidays all at once...

Blueberry Wine Breakfast Syrup

Makes 1 pint. Keeps for 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

12 ounces frozen blueberries (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup full-bodied red wine
1 1/2 cups water, divided
One Clementine or small mandarin orange, zest and juice
One small cinnamon stick
1 cup sugar

Place the blueberries in a saucepan with 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup water.  To the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon of Clementine peel (no white pith included) and one cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon stick and crush the berries using a potato masher.  Strain the berry juice into a bowl by pouring the berries through a wire mesh strainer that has been lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth.  Gently twist the cloth to release remaining juice, then discard the pulp (you will have a little over 1 cup of berry juice).  Add one tablespoon of Clementine juice to the blueberry juice and set aside.

Combine the remaining 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a large clean saucepan.  Stir gently to dissolve the sugar.  Bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat.  Boil, without stirring, until the liquid reaches 260F on a digital thermometer.  Reduce the heat to medium and gently whisk the blueberry juice into the sugar syrup.  Return to a boil and cook for 7 minutes.  Pour the syrup into a pint jar and cover loosely with a lid.  Cool on the counter top, tighten the lid and place in the refrigerator.  Chill completely before serving over french toast, pancakes, waffles or Flying Dutchmans.

Note: The thickness of the chilled syrup should coat the jar when you tip it so that the film on the jar is dark in color but still transparent.  If you desire thicker syrup, you may bring the syrup to a boil at any point and cook for additional time.  Start with 2 minutes, and test the syrup by placing a half-teaspoon of syrup in the freezer for a minute and observing its density.  While testing the syrup, remove the pot from the heat.  Cook in 2 minute intervals until you achieve the texture you are looking for.

Blueberry Challah French Toast
Serves 5.

2 loaves Blueberry Cheesecake Challah Rolls, cut in 1-inch thick slices (alternately, you may use 10 thick slices of country bread)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Blueberry Wine Breakfast Syrup
Sliced almonds
Powdered sugar
Fresh blueberries (optional garnish)

If your bread is not slightly stale, dry sliced bread for 20 minutes in a 250F oven.  You may also slice your bread the night before, cover it in a thin towel and leave it on a tray on the counter top overnight.  

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Melt a tablespoon of butter into the pan.

In a wide dish, mix together egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract until smooth. Coat slices of bread in the liquid mixture, one piece at a time as you place them in the hot pan.  Place as many moistened bread slices in the pan as will fit comfortably without crowding.  Cook each side of the bread for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning only once.  Transfer french toasts to a platter in a warm oven while you cook your additional batches. 
Add a tablespoon of butter as needed to the pan between batches. 

Serve warm french toast with pats of butter, Blueberry Wine Breakfast Syrup, sliced almondsa dusting of powdered sugar and fresh blueberries.



  1. The blueberry french toast sounds so delicious! I look forward to trying your blueberry challah recipe!

  2. Oh my goodness.... This is amazing!


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