For 4 servings
36 slices white sandwich bread
12 oz cream cheese (340 g), softened
⅓ cup granulated sugar (65 g), divided, plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup whole milk (240 mL)
¾ cup heavy cream (180 mL)
½ cup light brown sugar (110 g)
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
¼ cup strawberry preserve (80 g)
¼ cup blueberry preserves (80 g)
¼ cup raspberry preserves (80 g)
1 cup maple syrup (335 g)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ cup strawberry (75 g), sliced
½ cup blueberry (50 g)
½ cup raspberry (60 g)
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
2. Stack three pieces of bread on top of each other and use a rolling pin to flatten. Trim the crusts, then separate the individual slices. Repeat with the remaining bread.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, ⅓ cup (65 g) granulated sugar, and the lemon zest. Mix well, then set aside.
4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the the milk, cream, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Set aside.
5. Using an offset spatula, spread about 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese filling across a slice of flattened bread. Top with 1 teaspoon of strawberry preserves and spread across the bread. Spread 11 more slices of bread with the cream cheese filling and strawberry preserves, then repeat with the blueberry preserves and raspberry preserves.
6. Starting from the bottom, tightly roll up each slice of bread, then place seam-side down so they stay closed.
7. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and remaining 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.
8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a 3-inch (7.5 cm) wide bowl in the center of the pan.
9. Dip each roll up in the custard, allowing any excess to drip off. Arrange 12 roll ups around the bowl on the prepared baking sheet. Brush all over with custard and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Repeat stacking, brushing, and sprinkling with the remaining roll ups. Remove the bowl from the center of the ring.
10. Bake the French toast ring for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown.
11. Replace the bowl in the center of the ring and fill with the maple syrup. Dust the ring with the powdered sugar. Garnish with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.