I made this recipe for two, but you could certainly translate this to either make a whole casserole or fill a tray of large muffin cups. Either way, be sure to leave time for the bread to soak up the egg mixture, so you could get up early and prep the dish, setting it in the fridge to chill, or prep the night before. That's what I did.
When it comes to the apples, the firmer the apple, the thinner the slices should be. You don't want to use thick slices of a firm apple and have it still be extremely firm when it comes out. I suppose if you wanted super thick slices, you could nuke the apple for a few minutes before slicing. That would take the crunch off of it and let it finish cooking while it bakes. That might darken the apple, but that's fine - it's all about the taste!
As for the bread, if using ramekins or a muffin tin, you will be cutting out rounds. If you are concerned about wasting the scraps (and don't want to munch on them as you go along), you can chop them up and use them for the middle layer.
2 t brown sugar
8 slices raisin cinnamon bread
1 lg apple
1 t sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 c shredded cheddar
1/2 t vanilla
salt and pepper
- Start by cutting rounds from the bread the size of your ramekins/muffin cups, shredding your cheese (if not pre-shredded), peeling and slicing your apple, and mixing together in a small bowl the cinnamon and sugar.
- Generously butter the insides of the ramekins/muffin cups.
- Lay one bread round in the bottom of each.
- Top the bread round with a layer of cheddar.
- Top the cheddar with a bread round.
- Dip and apple slice (both sides) in the cinnamon and sugar and place over the bread round.
- Top the apple layer with another bread round.
- Top that layer with any remaining cheddar and another apple slice dipped in cinnamon/sugar.
- Cover with the last bread round.
- Beat together the two eggs, a splash of milk, the vanilla, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Evenly distribute the egg mixture between the two French Toast stacks.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the top as you do, to make sure the egg mixture soaks up into all the bread - chill.
- Bake at 350 for about a half hour until set and nicely browned.
- To serve, invert onto a plate and dust with powdered sugar.
As it turned out, you don't actually need to invert them. I had envisioned the butter and brown sugar sort of oozing over the tops when they came out, but of course it was bread, so it really just soaked in. Use a butter knife or small spreader/icing spatula to run around the edges and pop them out.
Love all that oozy cheddar, and the apples are soft but not mushy.