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Copyright Washington Post This spectacular French toast, adapted from "Nicole Routhiers Fruit Cookbook" (Workman, 1996), is similar to a caramelized tarte tatin, the French upside-down apple tart. As Routhier writes, it needs no additional butter or syrup. Just a side of bacon or sausage, and thats it. Peel, core and cut each apple into 3/4-inch-thick wedges. Place the apple wedges in a large mixing bowl and toss gently with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Peel the bananas, and slice them crosswise 3/4 inch thick. Add the bananas to the apples and toss to coat evenly with lemon juice. Sprinkle the cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg over the fruits, and toss well to combine. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fruit and saute until tender, about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and cook until the sugar is dissolved, 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat. Pour the contents into a lightly buttered 13-by-9-inch baking pan. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture just to moisten (both sides), then place them over the fruit in a single layer in the pan, making sure to cover the fruit entirely. (You may need to slice some of the bread in half in order to cover the fruit.) Pour any leftover egg mixture over the bread. Dot the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. (This can be prepared up to this point in advance, covered and refrigerated overnight.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the French toast, uncovered, until the top is golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Place a serving tray over the pan, and carefully turn it over to unmold the French toast. Spoon any syrup or fruit left in the pan over the bread, and serve at once. Per serving: 541 calories, 12 gm protein, 91 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 195 mg cholesterol, 8 gm saturated fat, 335 mg sodium Posted to FOODWINE Digest 19 Dec 96 From: Laurie Thompson
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