2/3 cup half-and-half
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½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 slices sandwich bread
4 cups (about 1 pound) frozen shredded potatoes
3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Coat a deep 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange 4 slices of the bread in an even layer over the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, apples and cheese. Spread the mixture evenly over the bread. Pour half of the egg mixture evenly over the potatoes and apples, pressing it with a fork to help it absorb evenly. Top the potato mixture with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread and press gently with a fork to help it absorb.
In the same bowl used to mix the potatoes and apples, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly blended. Spread the crumble topping evenly over the bread. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until morning.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 1 hour, or until lightly browned and crisp.
Nutrition values per serving: 530 calories, 28 g fat (15 g saturated), 57 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 26 g sugar, 15 g protein, 200 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium.
J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press food editor