Apple-Raisin 'French Toast' Casserole (with Crème Anglaise)
A variation on French toast, or pain perdu ("lost bread"), that bakes up hot and bubbly in the oven.
1 long French bread baguette
6 eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
3/4 c. brown or white sugar
1/4 c. raisins (or chopped dates), or more to taste
1/2 c. melted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 red apples, sliced and peeled, if desired
For the crème Anglaise:
1 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. white sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
Grease a 9x13 in. (22x33 cm.) baking dish.
Combine the brown sugar and 1 tsp. of the cinammon. Mix in the melted butter. Add the apples and raisins and toss to coat. Layer evenly in prepared pan.
Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 min.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar for your partner's crème Anglaise until sugar mostly dissolves.
When casserole has been baking 35-40 min., uncover and bake 5 min. more or until top begins to brown slightly.
Let it rest another 5 minutes to set before serving with the crème Anglaise.
Slice baguette into roughly 1-in (2-cm) rounds.
Beat the eggs. Add milk, vanilla, and 2 tsp. cinnamon.
Add the bread slices to the egg/milk mixture and toss to coat. Remove the bread slices and layer them evenly over the apples and cinnamon in the baking pan. Pour remaining eggs over all.
Bring the cream and vanilla for the crème Anglaise almost to a simmer over low-medium flame. Slowly add a 1/2 c. of the simmering milk to your partner's egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Add the yolks back into the milk pan, again whisking constantly, and cook over a low flame until sauce slightly thickens. (It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but still quite runny.)