Apple Raisin French Toast
- 1 loaf (about 10 to 12 ounces) cinnamon raisin bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened and diced
- 2/3 cup ripe apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup seedless raisins
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1-2/3 cups half and half, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon apple pie spice
- ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
- Brush a 9-inch square cake pan or a loaf pan with additional melted butter. Set aside.
- Divide bread cubes into two equal portions. Evenly spread one portion on the bottom of the buttered baking pan. Arrange cream cheese and apple pieces over bread layer. Sprinkle with raisins. Cover with remaining portion of the bread cubes. Set aside.
- Whisk eggs until frothy and pale-colored. Whisk in half and half, butter, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and apple pie spice until well-blended.
- Pour egg mixture over bread layers, pushing down the bread cubes lightly with a fork to soak up the mixture. Cover pan with foil and allow let stand in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Remove foil. Spoon condensed milk all over the top of the bread layers and sprinkle with chopped pecans and grated cheese. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden and cheese has melted. A tester inserted into the middle of the “cake” should come out clean.
- Allow “cake” to rest in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice before serving. If desired, top with your choice of toppings, such as a dusting for confectioners’ sugar mixed with ground cinnamon, whipped cream, ice cream, fruit or berry jam or preserves, or pancake syrup. Serve warm.
- Makes 6 to 8 servings
- You can also top “cake” with a streusel made from fine bread crumbs, chopped apples and seedless raisins and light brown sugar instead of the pecans and cheese. Bake according to recipe directions.
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