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A French toast crust makes 'pie' easy for the pastry-impaired.
A French toast crust makes 'pie' easy for the pastry-impaired. / AP
Top baked apples and apricots with French toast crust for dessert or for brunch. / Matthew Mead/AP

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It’s apple season again, and these days, thanks to adventurous farmers and the resurgence of all kinds of apple varieties, there’s a ton of exciting choices.

This abundance practically begs you to assemble the filling for this baked apple treat from a mix of different apples rather than from a single type. Just be sure to taste the candidates before you start cooking to get a fix on what each one will bring to the table.

For this dessert, I added dried apricots to the apples for contrast. Or, if you’d prefer some other kind of dried fruit — cherries, raisins, cranberries or dried plums (otherwise known as prunes) — swap out the apricots for your favorite.

Crusts can be tricky, particularly pie dough. So this recipe is for the pastry-impaired. Instead of pie dough, we use French toast.

Finally, I’ve billed this beauty as a dessert, but it would shine just as brightly as brunch on Saturday or Sunday.

Baked apples and apricots with French toast crust

Start to finish: 1 hour 25 minutes (20 minutes active)

Servings: 6

3 to 4 apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick (6 cups)

13 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

˝ cup dried apricots, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

13 cup low-fat milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts discarded, cut in half

Low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In an 8-inch square baking dish, toss the apples with 13 cup of the sugar, the apricots and lemon juice. Cover with foil and bake on the oven’s middle shelf for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

When the apples have baked (test for tenderness by piercing with a paring knife), remove the foil. Dip the bread halves in the egg mixture and arrange them in a single layer over the apples, cutting the bread as necessary to cover all of the apples. If there is any egg mixture left, pour it over the bread. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar, then bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve right away, topped with a small scoop of the vanilla frozen yogurt, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories; 20 calories from fat (11 percent of total calories); 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 29 g sugar; 6 g protein; 120 mg sodium.

Sara Moulton stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

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