Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast
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Chef Roberta Blake, New England Culinary Institute (NECI)

1 loaf French or Italian bread
3 teaspoons cinnamon
8 large eggs
1 teaspoons nutmeg
3 1/2 cups of light cream
6-to-8 medium-sized cooking apples (McIntosh or Cortland)
1 cup sugar
1/4 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pitcher of Vermont pure maple syrup on the side

Slice bread into 1 1/2 inch slices.

Spray 9x13-inch glass pan with corn oil or non-stick spray.

Place bread in glass dish, fitting together tightly.

In separate bowl, beat together eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, and vanilla (by hand, with whisk for about 30 seconds).

Pour 1/2 of egg-milk mixture over bread.

Peel, core, and slice apples.

Place sliced apples on top of bread to cover.

Pour balance of egg-milk mixture evenly over apples.

Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle evenly over top of apples.  Dot with butter.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Uncover dish and bake in oven one hour.  It will rise high and brown nicely.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cut into squares and serve warm with maple syrup.  Top with whipped cream, and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Serves 8-to-10.