Recipe: Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and cook about 5 minutes until fragrant and slightly softened. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue cooking until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.
Butter or spray a 9X13 casserole dish. Place 1/2 of the bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer. Top with 1/2 of the apple mixture and cream cheese cubes. Layer again with the rest of the bread cubes and then the rest of the apple mixture & cream cheese.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, orange juice, maple syrup, raisins, vanilla, rest of the cinnamon and salt. Pour over the apple/bread mixture. Cover the casserole, set in the fridge and let soak for at least 2 hours to overnight.
Remove the casserole from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Top with the pecans.
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚ F with the rack in the middle. Bake the casserole covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked through.
Serve immediately with more maple syrup and whipped cream.