Forget frying with this super easy apple fritter casserole

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Apple fritters are a delicious brunch dish, but they can be tough to make for a crowd. Instead of spending the morning frying fritters, consider the recipe below, which can be made, in large part, in advance! It boasts all the great flavor of apple fritters with a fraction of the effort.
To get all of the flavors of apple fritters into this casserole, a combination of a homemade apple filling and store-bought doughnuts come together with a French toast-style custard. When baked, the spiced flavors of the cooked apples, the rich fried dough, and the eggy custard unite to create what's sure to become a new brunch favorite.
Cooktop Cove
Apple Fritter Casserole
20 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 20 minutes
Three apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 16 wedges each
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons sugar (for apples)
Eight cinnamon sugar doughnuts, torn into 2-inch pieces
Five eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/8 cup sugar (for whisking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
Baking spray
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Toss the apple wedges with the lemon juice.
Heat the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the apples and the 4 tablespoons of sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender. Deglaze with about 1/8 cup of water, and set aside.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with baking spray.
Arrange about a third of the doughnut pieces in the dish. Top with about half of the apple filling, then cover with another third of the doughnuts. Top with the remaining apple, and finish with the doughnuts.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/8 cup of sugar, and salt, and pour evenly over the top of the casserole. To this point, the casserole can be prepared up to a day in advance and reserved, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge.
Drizzle the top of the casserole with butter, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until browned on top.
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