French Toast Strata

1 pound loaf French bread
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese*
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups whole milk or half and half*
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 recipe Apple Cider Syrup

Spray a 9×13-baking dish with non-stick spray. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Place half the cubes in prepared dish. Cut cream cheese into cubes and arrange over bread cubes. Add remaining bread cubes.

Combine eggs, milk and maple syrup. Beat well. Pour evenly over bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

Bake at 3500 F for 40-50 minutes or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes, serve with Apple Cider syrup or additional maple syrup.

* NOTE: To reduce calories and fat grams substitute skim milk and lite cream cheese, but to achieve the full flavor use the ingredients as listed.

Apple Cider Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

    In a small saucepan stir together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add apple and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring. Reduce heat and continue to cook 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in butter, serve warm over pancakes, waffles or French toast.

    Recipe is shared by Maren Boyce of Perry, Utah. Note, this is a great prepare ahead dish. Serves 8

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