Preheat the oven to 300°.
Place the bread cubes on a sheet pan. Place the almonds on a second sheet pan. Toast the bread cubes and almonds until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Coarsely chop the almonds and set aside.
To make an apple stock, place the apple peels and cores and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and cool.
Strain the apple stock and measure out 1½ cups. (If necessary, add water to make 1½ cups). Add the brown sugar and Sweetie Magic to the stock and stir until dissolved.
Increase the oven temperature to 350°.
Spread half the bread cubes in the bottom of a small casserole. Distribute 8 pats of the butter evenly over the bread. Add a layer of half the sliced apples and distribute 4 pats of the butter over the apples. Cover with about half the toasted almonds, spreading them as evenly as possible. Cover the almonds with a layer of half the raisins. Then add half the sliced cheese in an even layer. Spread the remaining bread cubes over the cheese, the remaining apple slices over that, and the remaining 4 pats of butter over the apples. Cover with the remaining almonds, raisins, and sliced cheese.
Pour apple/sugar mixture evenly over the contents of the casserole and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and bubbly, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Delicious by itself or served with whipped cream.
Copyright © 2004 by Paul Prudhomme