2,5 – 5 ml Whole Aniseed (not star anise) optional, see notes
250 ml Water
100 g Sugar (½ cup)
Juice of 1 Lemon
500 g Apples, about 5 medium-size apples – cored and cut into thin wedges
125 g Raisins (1 cup)
250 ml Leftover Filling Juice
50 g Butter
250 ml Cold Milk
Zest of 1 lemon finely grated
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and prepare a 20 x 20cm (2Lt) oven dish with butter.
Add the water and sugar in a medium-size saucepan and place over moderate heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and add the rest of the filling ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the apples are soft.
Strain the mixture and keep both the liquid and fruit separate. Allow the fruit to cool to room temperature.
Add the butter to the warm leftover syrup and stir to dissolve completely and then add the milk.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the cooled milk mixture, followed by the lemon zest.
Spread the bread slices lightly with the softened butter. Cut half of the bread in triangles and the rest in cubes.
Place the triangle halves in the bottom of the dish with the buttered side facing upwards. Pour half of the custard over the bread.
Add the fruit on top of the bread and level. Scatter the cubed bread over the fruit and pour the rest of the custard over the cubed bread.
Allow to rest for 30 minutes so that the bread can absorb some of the custard.
Dust with ground cinnamon and bake in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, garnish with blueberries and serve with whipped cream, custard or ice cream.