Forget PSLs – this french toast casserole exudes fall

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The recipe below combines some of the emblematic flavors of fall: Fresh apples and spicy cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are united with a rich, eggy custard for this French toast casserole. This casserole can be made largely in advance; just bake and serve the day of for an easy dish that's ideal for brunch.
A good variety of different apple types can be used for this dish, though each will lend its own flavor. Granny Smith are a great choice, as their acidity forms the perfect foil for the sweeter custard. But other baking apples, like Golden Delicious, will lend their own perfume and texture to the finished dish.
Cooktop Cove
Apple French Toast Casserole
20 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour 5 minutes
Three baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 16 wedges each
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
One loaf brioche, cut into 2-inch chunks
Five eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Baking spray
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Toss the apples with the lemon juice.
Heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add the apples and the sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of water, and stir in the applesauce. Set aside.
Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish with baking spray. Arrange a layer of brioche over the bottom, then spoon about half of the apple mixture evenly over the top. Top with more bread, more apple, and finish with a layer of bread.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, spices, and salt. Pour evenly over the top of the casserole. (To this point, the casserole can be prepared in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to one day.)
Drizzle the butter over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown.
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