Blueberry season runs from the end of May to early October. For information with regard to fresh blueberries and insect inspection, please see “Special Instructions” listed below.
1 large baguette
6 large eggs
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly, grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cut 24 1-inch slices from baguette and arrange in one layer in baking dish. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla and 3/4 cup brown sugar and pour evenly over bread. Chill mixture, covered, until all liquid is absorbed by bread, at least 8 hours, and up to 1 day. Preheat to 350. In a shallow baking pan spread pecans evenly and toast in middle of oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Toss pecans in pan with 1 teaspoon butter and salt. Increase oven temperature to 400. Sprinkle the pecans and 2 cups blueberries evenly over bread mixture. Cut 1/2 stick butter into pieces and in a small sauce pan heat with remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, stirring until butter is melted. Drizzle butter mixture over bread and bake mixture 20 minutes, or until liquid from blueberries is bubbling. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.
Make syrup: In a small saucepan cook 1 cup blueberries and maple syrup over moderate heat until berries have burst, about 3 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a heatproof pitcher, pressing on solids and stir in lemon juice. Syrup may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat syrup before serving.
Blueberries and Insect Inspection
Cultivated blueberries, the type most commonly found in the supermarket, are generally insect-free. Cultivated blueberries should be placed in a strainer or colander and washed thoroughly under running water.
Wild (uncultivated) blueberries, typically found in mountainous areas, require special inspection due to the greater prevalence of the blueberry maggot (worm). Wild blueberries must be carefully examined after washing. Spread them on a white cloth or a sheet of freezer paper and look for holes or other indications of worms.