This Baked Apple French Toast, made with tender brioche bread and slices of apples is the perfect fall breakfast. A classically decadent breakfast, this recipe lightens things up with milk instead of cream, maple syrup instead of sugar, and a hearty amount of spices.
1 loaf brioche bread (just under 1 pound), cut in ½ inch slices
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pecans, chopped
Heat oven to 250°F and set racks to middle and lower-middle position.
Place bread slices on two baking sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes until dried out, flipping slices halfway through baking. For a more hands-off approach, leave slices out overnight to dry.
Increase oven to 375°F and coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Cut apples in thin slices (between 1/8 inch and ¼ inch). Heat butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and sauté until tender but still hold a rough shape, about 6 minutes. Add brown sugar and sauté until sugar has melted and apples are coated with caramel, 1–2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow apples to slightly cool.
Alternating, layer bread and apple slices in rows, on end, at an angle. Drizzle remaining caramel left in skillet over top. Pour egg mixture over layered slices and gently press down to soak bread. Sprinkle pecans evenly over top.
Bake until top is golden brown and crusty, about 35–45 minutes.
Serve immediately with maple syrup.