Apple Pie French Toast Casserole

Apple Pie French Toast Casserole

This Casserole could be breakfast, it could be bread pudding, in short, it’s the perfect thing to serve on a chilly Saturday morning. Cinnamon and soothing, it tastes sweet enough to be eaten as it is, but also delicious with a little butter and maple syrup. Chopped pecans absorb some of the moisture from the apple, leaving behind caramelization and good crispness. Assembly is very easy: Gather everything the night before, or even on the day - be sure to let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Serve with toppings of your choice and a cup of coffee.

1 (18-oz.) challah bread loaf, cut into
1 1/2-in. pieces
8 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
4 tablespoons (2 oz.) salted butter
3 medium Honeycrisp apples, cored, cut into 1/4-in. slices
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pure maple syrup, for serving

How to Make It
Step 1
Place the bread on a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a large bowl until smooth. Pour egg mixture over bread.

Step 2
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add apples, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until apples begin to soften and liquid thickens into a syrup, about 8 minutes. Spoon apple mixture evenly on top of bread mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake, covered, in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until puffed and custard has set, about 20 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

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