Apple Baked French Toast

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

This is something of an old family recipe, and I am tired of always trying to find it online. Saving here for posterity.

My mom has always made apple baked french toast. It was always a kind of “special occasion” breakfast, but we particularly like to have it on Christmas morning. We prepare it the night before, and then when we get up, we start the oven preheating. We pop it in the oven, and it’s ready to go right about when we finish opening presents!

The Journey:

This is not actually my mom’s recipe; this is just a modified version of one that we found on the Internet. It must be pretty similar. Mom, care to comment?

One thing I would recommend is using bread that is a bit drier, like a baguette or something a little crustier, to soak up some of the egg-liquid.

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All recipes say to peel the apples, but I’m way too lazy for that. I honestly don’t think you need to (apple peels get pretty soft when you cook them), but that’s up to you I guess.

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However, we do have a bit of mitigating circumstances.

Usually when my mom makes it, she uses her “apple peeler-corer-slicer” to peel and cut the apples:

We don’t have one of those. However, as you may know, we have a family tradition of making applesauce every year. Lucky for me, Mom and Ron usually also can cut up apples and give them to us for Christmas, which means we have a supply of already-peeled-and-cut apples, which makes this pretty easy. One jar is not quite enough for a batch of apple baked french toast, so we cut up 3 or 4 apples in addition.

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The Verdict:

Well, it should be pretty obvious at this point that I recommend this one. It’s great for when you have guests, by itself, with syrup, or with whipped cream on top.

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The Recipe:

Recipe inspired by King Arthur Flour:

  • 1 baguette, about 18″ to 20″ long
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 dashes cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (skip if bread is salty)

Topping:

  • 1 jar of canned apples + 3 or 4 apples thinly sliced (~6 large apples if not using canned)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Optional: 1/2 – 3/4 cup walnuts or pecans
  1. Lightly butter a 10″ x 15″ baking pan or similar-sized casserole dish.
  2. Slice a crusty loaf of bread into 1″ slices. Place the slices of bread into the pan.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  4. Pour this mixture over the bread, and let it soak in while you’re preparing the topping.
  5. Peel and slice the apples thinly. Toss them with the remaining topping ingredients, and spread them over the bread in the pan.
  6. To bake immediately, preheat the oven to 375°F. To bake up to 48 hours later, cover the pan, and refrigerate.
  7. NOTE: we cover with tinfoil to avoid burning the top
  8. Bake the French toast in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the apples are soft and the eggs set. If it’s been refrigerated, remove the cover, and bake for 60 to 70 minutes.
  9. NOTE: We always, always do it cold. We put it in the oven while it is preheating, so the glass pan doesn’t break due to temperature shock, and set the timer for 80 minutes.
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