Baked Apple French Toast Casserole

Makes 8 servings.

3 large green apples
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 ounces cream cheese
12 slices firm bread, any flavor
8 eggs
1 quart milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon to taste

Set rack in lower third of oven and heat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Core and cut the apples into thin wedges, leaving the skin on.

In a skillet, melt the butter with brown sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Add the apples and cook stirring for two to three minutes. Transfer to the baking dish and let cool.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes and arrange evenly over the apples. Cut the slices of bread in half diagonally and layer over the apples to cover the whole dish.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, taking care to dampen all of the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and puffed. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.