Caramelized Apple and Sausage French Toast

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) package fully cooked Smart Chicken breakfast sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ½-inch thick

  • 8 cups torn egg bread, or good-quality white bread

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • ½ cup apple cider

Directions

Coat the inside of two 9-inch round pie pans, 2½ inches deep, or a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a skillet, melt the butter and both sugars until they become liquid.

Pour into the prepared pan(s), and tilt to cover the bottom evenly. Arrange the apples over the brown sugar mixture—if you are using pie plates, you can make concentric circles for a pleasing effect.

Put the bread and sausage into a large bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, milk, and cider. Pour over the bread and sausage, and mix well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pans, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the casserole dishes from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Place the baking dishes on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil, silicone baking liners, or parchment paper to catch any drips. Bake the casseroles for 40 to 50 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the casserole to loosen from the dish and then turn out onto serving platters that are 2-inches larger than the baking dishes.

Recipe created by Diane Phillips, Cooking Teacher & Author, San Diego, California