1 cup blackberry jam
1 (12-oz.) French bread loaf, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Toppings: maple syrup, whipped cream
1. Cook jam in a small saucepan over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once.
2. Place half of bread cubes in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with cream cheese cubes, and drizzle with melted jam. Top with remaining bread cubes.
3. Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients. Pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover tightly, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and mixture is set. Serve with desired toppings.
Jessica McKinney, Crystal City, Missouri, Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2009