Baked Panettone French Toast with Apples
Serves 10 to 12
Panettone - a sweet bread dotted with soft raisins and candied citrus fruit peels - makes fabulous baked French toast, an excellent option for brunch as the dish can be assembled and chilled the night before baking. This wonderful recipe was created by Whole Foods Market chef Janet Chaykin.
6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon water
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
6 (1-inch-thick) slices panettone (about 1 pound), halved
2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons butter, sugar and water until well combined. Spread mixture over the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer apples and their juices to the reserved baking dish and spread out evenly over the sugar mixture. Scatter cranberries over apples and arrange panettone over the top, overlapping the slices as needed. Set aside to let apples cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon then pour over panettone, being sure to coat all slices. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover baking dish and bake until just cooked through, puffed and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly before serving.