For Karen at Hopton House Bed and Breakfast http://shropshirebreakfast.com/
Baked Apple-Cinnamon French Toast
This baked apple-cinnamon French toast can be prepared in advance and then simply popped in the oven for a leisurely and luxurious weekend morning.
Note that it requires eight hours of refrigeration time, so plan ahead.
3 cups milk
2 cups eggs
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1-pound loaf sliced whole-wheat bread
1 1/2 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon organic confectioners’ sugar (optional)
1. Whisk milk, egg whites, honey, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.
2. Trim crusts off 8 bread slices and set aside. Cut the crusts and the remaining bread into 1-inch pieces. Toss with dried apples, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in another large bowl.
3. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Transfer the bread mixture to the pan. Lay the reserved crustless slices evenly on top, trimming to fit. Whisk the milk mixture one more time, then pour evenly over the bread. Press the bread down with the back of a wooden spoon, making sure it’s evenly moist. Cover with parchment paper, then foil, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the casserole, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until puffed, set and lightly browned, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes; dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Yield: 12 servings.