Lemon & Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast is a luxurious twist on a Sunday brunch favorite. We’re elevating French toast by adding creamy mascarpone cheese to the batter, as well the flavor one-two of lemon and blueberries. Say hello to a new favorite!
If you’re anything like me, you probably love French toast recipes. This mascarpone French toast with a lemon and blueberry topping is one of the few things I’ll wake up early for in the weekend.
What is mascarpone French toast
Simply put, this is any sort of French toast made using mascarpone cheese. However, there tend to be three basic varieties:
- French toast with a mascarpone topping
- French toast stuffed with mascarpone
- French toast made with mascarpone that has been baked in the oven.
We’re not making any of the above. Instead, we’re adding mascarpone to the batter, and then using it as a topping alongside lemon and blueberries. The mascarpone in the egg mixture will melt when heated, but it’ll retain and add a creamy richness to the dish, which pairs well with both lemon and fresh blueberries.
If you enjoyed my Lemon Mascarpone Pancakes recipe, you’ll be sure to enjoy this one too.
For the French toast
- French bread loaf, in thick slices
- Large eggs
- Mascarpone cheese
- Lemon, zested
- Pure vanilla extract
- Butter, unsalted
For the toppings
- Mascarpone cheese
- Lemon zest
- Maple syrup
How to make Lemon Blueberry mascarpone French toast
Making this recipe isn’t very different from most French toast recipes. We’ll start by whisking the eggs, milk, sugar, mascarpone, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl, or ideally a flat-bottomed baking dish (one that won’t leak).
Next, soak both sides of the bread slices in the egg mixture, making sure they soak in the liquid. Don’t leave them soaking too long though or they may break.
Heat a non-stick skillet or large pan over medium-high heat, and add the butter. Once the butter melts, cook the battered French toasts (it’s quicker to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan) until golden on both side, usually 3-5 minutes per side.
Top the cooked French toast with a dollop of mascarpone, lemon zest, and maple syrup. Enjoy immediately (and be everyone’s favorite person whenever you make this recipe!).
When it comes to making French toast there are a few golden rules. They’re all pretty simple to follow though.
What kind of bread to use
I used sliced French bread (not French baguettes) for this recipe, but brioche, sourdough, or challah are all great options too. Baguettes work too, but it’s often difficult to get nice slices as they tend to have a smaller circumference than your standard loaves.
What’s more important than which specific type of bread you use is that it’s slightly stale. Stale bread is able to absorb more of the egg mixture without breaking, leading to a much more flavorful experience.
Soaking your bread
When soaking your bread in the custard mixture, you want to be careful to not over-soak it – this will make for soggy bread which can easily break when being moved or cooked. Instead you want the bread to soak up just enough of the mixture that it maintains its integrity.
Preheat your pan
It’s important to preheat your pan, and melt your butter before you begin cooking your French toast. Adding the toast while the pan is still heating may result in an uneven cook, as well as potentially burning your French toast.
Don’t forget to add more butter as needed, and be willing to adjust the temperature of the stove to avoid burning your brunch (if your pan lets through more heat than mine, then it might mean switching to medium heat to make life easier for yourself!).
Like with most French toast recipes, it’s simple to create a lot of variations. Use the batter and instructions provided here, and change up the toppings. Here are a few suggestions:
Fresh berries. Add more berries to the mix: raspberries, strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream will taste great!
Sweeten it up. Got a sweet tooth? No worries, sprinkle a little powdered sugar to make this mascarpone French toast recipe extra sweet.
Only for the rich. Do you thrive on rich, indulgent breakfasts? Me too. An easy to way to add richness to this (already indulgent) recipe is to swap out the milk for heavy cream or an equal amount of half and half.
Here’s what not to do
Some common additions to French toast recipes are a touch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Neither spice works very well alongside the lemon-blueberry flavor combination. Instead, if you’re looking to do add a little something, you can try a pinch of salt or another half teaspoon vanilla extract to really pull out more flavors.
Using cream cheese
Mascarpone cheese and cream cheese look quite similar so many try to use them interchangeably. The thing to remember here is that they’re similar, not the same. Mascarpone tends to be richer and creamier than cream cheese, while cream cheese often has more tangy flavor to it.
I wouldn’t say that this substitution doesn’t work at all. You’ll still get French toast. It just won’t have the same mix of flavor and richness and mascarpone provides.
Generally, French toast is best eaten immediately. It doesn’t store especially well. However, if needed, you can refrigerate this recipe for up to two days in an airtight container.
Lemon & Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast is delightful brunch. It’s slightly more elevated than most French toast recipes, thanks to the addition of mascarpone cheese, but it still retains the warm comfort food vibe that comes with the best French toast recipes. Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments below.