Baked Apple French Toast

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A lovely mash-up of French toast and apple pie, this prep-ahead baked apple French toast has all the makings of a special holiday brunch dish.

baked apple french toast

A lovely mash-up of French toast and apple pie, this prep-ahead baked apple french toast has all the makings of a special holiday brunch dish – the kind that becomes a much-loved family tradition. Not only is it over-the-top delicious, but it’s also convenient. You can assemble and bake it straight away or prepare it the evening before, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then pop it in the oven in the morning when you’re getting ready to eat.

I like to add a little bourbon to the custard mixture for depth of flavor but it’s fine to substitute apple cider or more half & half if you prefer. Serve the baked apple French toast with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, and bacon on the side.

What you’ll need for Baked Apple French Toast

Baked Apple French Toast

how to make Baked Apple French Toast

Begin with the custard: in a large bowl, combine the eggs, half & half, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.

Baked Apple French Toast

Whisk to combine.

Baked Apple French Toast

Dip each slice of challah into the custard mixture for about 5 seconds, then arrange in an overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish.

Baked Apple French Toast

Be sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered with the bread. Pour any remaining custard over the bread. Set aside.

Baked Apple French Toast

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Baked Apple French Toast

Add the apples, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon.

Baked Apple French Toast

Bring to a gentle boil.

Baked Apple French Toast

Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened and the sugar-syrup is thickened, about 8 minutes.

Baked Apple French Toast

Spoon the apples and sugar-syrup evenly over the bread, making sure not to leave any of the syrup behind. If not baking immediately, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe.

Baked Apple French Toast

When you’re getting ready to eat, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes more.

Baked Apple French Toast

Remove from the oven and, using a fine sieve, dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

baked apple french toast

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Baked Apple French Toast

A lovely mash-up of French toast and apple pie, this prep-ahead baked apple French toast has all the makings of a special holiday brunch dish.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 55 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Ingredients

For the French Toast

  • One 1-lb challah or raisin challah
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups half & half
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional; replace with apple cider or half-&-half if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Apple Topping

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Serving

  • Confectioners' sugar and/or maple syrup

Instructions

For the French Toast

  1. Butter a 9 x 13-inch or 3-QT baking dish. Slice the bread into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Dip each slice of challah into the custard mixture for about 5 seconds, then arrange in an overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish. Be sure the entire bottom of the dish is covered with the bread. Pour any remaining custard over the bread. Set aside.

For the Apple Topping

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened and the sugar-syrup is thickened, about 8 minutes. Spoon the apples and sugar-syrup evenly over the bread, making sure not to leave any of the syrup behind. If not baking immediately, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  3. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and, using a fine sieve, dust with the confectioners' sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 473
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 65 g
  • Sugar: 33 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Sodium: 358 mg
  • Cholesterol: 177 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I cant even begin to describe how delicious this is. I love apples and cinnamon, but don’t like thinks overly sweet. This is so perfect. I made it the night before, and baked it off for a leisurely breakfast for my husband and I on our screened porch this morning. With scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh coffee, he said he felt like he was at some high end B&B. Perfect way to sit and watch the hummingbirds and rabbits start their day. Since it was out of the fridge, I increased the covered step to 35 minutes, and added an extra 10 minutes to the uncovered step of the recipe. It was perfect with a drizzle of warmed maple syrup. Thanks for another keeper recipe.

    • — Laura Migliore on June 30, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I want to make the Baked Apple French toast Friday for a Sunday brunch. Do you think that will work or would it be too long sitting?

    • — Colette Dryden on June 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Colette, I wouldn’t let it sit any longer than that, but yes, I think it’s fine. Hope everyone enjoys! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 28, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi jenn
    What it means in the recipe 1-1/2 cups half & half ?after 5 eggs
    Thanks

    • — Fanny on May 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Fanny, Half & half is a dairy product that contains half whole milk/half cream. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 11, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thanks

        • — Fanny on May 12, 2019
        • Reply
  • This recipe was a huge hit at Easter brunch this year, I think it will become an annual request. Tasted just like a combination of apple pie and French toast, and looked beautiful, too. Loved it!

    • — Jane Smith on May 9, 2019
    • Reply
  • Sunday morning. Had some older apples (gala and honey crisps) trying to figure out what to do with them. Headed to my no fail website and had designs on an apple pie or cobbler or such for dessert. Saw this recipe and remembered I also had a half a loaf of home-made challah from Easter. I “halved” the recipe (2 eggs vs 3) and cut back on sugar a bit figuring the sweeter apples would compensate (they did). This came together really quickly and the biggest “problem” was actually waiting for it to be finished in the oven. Had a fantastic brunch with some sausage, fresh French roast coffee, and this ridiculously easy and tasty casserole. I am looking forward to having some for dessert, warmed with some French vanilla ice cream. If you love French Toast with challah and don’t want to slave over the griddle for a crowd, this is a winner.

    • — The Minister of Cooking on April 28, 2019
    • Reply
  • I made this to bring to my sister in laws for an Easter brunch with 25 people. It was amazing and so easy to make! I have actually made it twice since then just because it is so good! Thanks again Jenn!

    • — Kathy Cabral on April 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • I made this for Easter brunch exactly as written and it was DELICIOUS!!! Everyone loved it. It was the first dish gone.

    • — Tonya D. on April 25, 2019
    • Reply
  • Made recipe as written, and it was amazing (as usual). Wondering if anyone has tried this with peaches, now that peach season is approaching.

    • — Anita on April 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • I made this cold from the fridge and it required an additional 30 minutes baking time.

    • — Rachel B on April 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    As always can’t wait to try your recipes! Never once were we disappointed.
    Question on amount and when to put bourbon in?
    Thanks so much and wish you and you really family well.
    Carol Ingersoll

    • — Carol Ingersoll on April 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Carol! You’ll need 2 tablespoons of bourbon and you’ll whisk it with the eggs, 1/2 & 1/2, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2019
      • Reply
  • I was at a meeting and happened to mention Jenn Segal and the “Once Upon a Chef” cookbook and blog as well as the success I have had with both. Overhearing the conversation, a passerby asked if I had tried the “Baked Apple French Toast”. Since I had not tried it, I went to the blog and checked it out. I decided to make it for a Christmas breakfast. Since I could not find Granny Smith apples, I substituted Gala apples (no other changes). The result – another hit from Jenn’s Recipes. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it – grandchildren, daughter-in-law, sons and friends. Will definitely make it again and next time I will use Jenn’s recipe for Challah Bread.

    • — GrandBob on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi! Is there a downside to leaving the apple skin on? For example, will it impact the texture or taste significantly?
    Thank you!

    • — KJ on March 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi KJ, I find that baked apple peels can be a little chewy, so I’d suggest peeling them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • So so good! Thank you for this delicious breakfast treat. Made it this year for Christmas and will be a favorite. I used Granny Smith apples and made it the day before.Perfect!

    Just received your new cook book.

    • — Susan on January 29, 2019
    • Reply
  • I am looking at the baked apple french toast recipe. Is it freezable, and if so,do I bake it first, or freeze unbaked.
    Thank you

    • — Wendy Cooper on January 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Wendy, haven’t frozen this myself so I can’t say for sure, but I’d be a bit hesitant to freeze it because of all the dairy it has. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen!
    Looks glorious 🤩
    Could I do this in the slow cooker?

    Thanks

    • — Ria on January 9, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Ria, I don’t have a slow cooker, but I’m not confident that this would translate very well to one – sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 9, 2019
      • Reply
  • Delicious! We will be making this again and again. We used Cortland apples because that is what we had in hand. I was wondering how this recipe would be if I baked the bread with the custard without the apples and when it was done baking a berry sauce. Has anyone tried that?

    • — Lisa C on January 2, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can I keep this covered with foil for 30 minutes after baking to keep it warm, or will it get soggy? I need to bake it and then transport it with me in the car. Can anyone advise me please?

    • — Abbie on December 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Abbie, That’s fine – it won’t get soggy.

      • — Jenn on December 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen, huge fan of yours. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. I would love to make this for Christmas morning, I have stale French bread and was thinking of cutting the bread into cubes and pouring the custard over the bread and letting it sit over night, do you think it will turn out ok if I try that method? Thank you in advance and happy holidays to you and your family.

    • — angie on December 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • That should work, Angie. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I am making this for the first time. I will be baking another breakfast casserole at the same time. That calls for a 325° oven. Can I cook this casserole at 325 rather than 350?
    I am giving my two daughters in law your cookbook for Christmas and was hoping to do a sample of one of your recipes for a Christmas breakfast. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    • — Barbara Zakarian on December 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, that’s fine, Barbara – you’ll just have to cook it a little longer. Hope your daughters in law love the book!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2018
      • Reply
  • Can you substitute another type of bread for challah

    • — Cathy on December 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Cathy, Yes but keep in mind that the dish won’t be quite as rich, as challah is made with eggs. Brioche (also made with eggs) would be the best substitute.

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • This French toast is perfect for Christmas morning! My family loves it!

    • — Marcia S. on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Thank you, Jenn, for all of the great recipes! I’d like to include this baked apple French toast and your sausage and cheddar bread pudding in our holiday brunch. Could I bake these at the same time? The savory bread pudding is delicious, but I’d hate for its flavors to be imparted on the French toast. Thanks!

    • — Joyce on December 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Joyce, that never would’ve occurred to me, but yes, I do think that the French toast could take on some of the savory flavors of the bread pudding. I would suggest baking them separately. You could bake the bread pudding first, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil to keep it warm. Pop the French Toast in the oven, and as soon as you remove it, put the bread pudding back in to warm up a bit right before you sit down. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2018
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I took your advice and both dishes came out great. I also added your fruit salad with mint. All 3 got rave reviews. Thanks!

        • — Joyce on December 29, 2018
        • Reply
        • Hi Joyce, You and I had the same brunch….both dishes and the minted fruit salad. BTW I baked both casseroles together and had no problem with transfer of flavors.

          • — Ginny Douglas on December 31, 2018
          • Reply
  • My partner and I baked this for a simple and cosy Sunday lunch, and it was lovely to share with family. Everyone went for second helpings. So quick and easy to make, but special to serve fresh from the oven, thanks Jenn for another great recipe!

    • — Melissa on November 24, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – this recipe is terrific! I made it this weekend and it turned out wonderfully. I would like to try preparing it in advance. Do you think I could refrigerate it for 24 hours before baking, rather than just overnight? Thanks!

    • — Laura on October 29, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed this! Yes, you should be fine refrigerating it for 24 hours before baking. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for dinner and it was a big hit. (My kids love breakfast food for dinner)It was so simple my 6 and 4 year old got to help. I was just happy to use up some of the bushel of apples I still have left from picking. Thank you for yet another kid approved meal!!

    • — Clara on October 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • Jenn… Seriously… You make me look and feel like an epic chef. This turned out a) gorgeous b) delicious. WE LOVE ALL YOUR RECIPES. ALL OF THEM. COME TO MONTREAL FOR A BOOK-SIGNING, PLEASE! Sending lots of gratitude and love from Montreal, Canada. Keep those awesome recipes coming. I will cry if you ever stop sharing them.

    • — Roberta Konen on October 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • After seeing this recipe recently in your newsletter, I tried it and everyone thought it was delicious. Followed directions exactly except used Brioche bread. Not only is it an easy dish to prepare but the aroma and presentation is perfect for a fall morning breakfast.
    My family has really benefited from your collection.
    Thanks Jennifer for sharing,
    Rosemary

    • — Rosemary Rutherford on October 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Do you think it would be ok to make this in the morning, refrigerate and then bake the following morning, or would that be too long in the fridge?

    Thank you and you really do have the most delicious recipes, I love your book too!
    Lisa

    • — lisa on October 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes, Lisa! I think that will be just fine – it shouldn’t get too soggy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 8, 2018
      • Reply
  • Could it sit unbaked in the frig for 2 nights before baking or would it get too soggy?
    Thanks!

    • — Leslie on October 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • I think it will be fine, Leslie. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for a brunch with extended family last weekend. I baked the honey challah recipe from the cookbook earlier in the week. Used equal amounts of whole milk and half and half, and omitted the bourbon (didn’t have any on hand). Prepared the apples without the maple syrup because I ran out; added an extra 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. I prepared the components Saturday evening and refrigerated them overnight and assembled them in the morning. An additional 15 minutes was required for the uncovered baking time, probably because the ingredients were so cold. This was a huge hit! Everyone commented about how wonderful the aroma was while I was cooking the apples Saturday evening and again while it was baking Sunday morning. This was a huge hit! Everyone loved it! I apologized for not putting maple syrup in the topping but everyone thought that it would have made it too sweet. I definitely will add the bourbon as called for next time as I’m sure this will take the recipe to the next level.

    • — Linda Remick on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this french toast for my Bible study group last week. The presentation was beautiful and the ladies were so anxious to try it, just based on how gorgeous it looked! The taste did not disappoint with the mixture of apples and cinnamon and maple. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • — Sheila on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made the Baked Apple French Toast for a brunch with extended family last weekend and it was a huge hit. I used the Challah recipe from the cookbook; baked it earlier in the week. Prepared the custard omitting the bourbon (didn’t have any) and used equal amounts of half and half and milk instead of all half and half. Prepared the apple topping but omitted the maple syrup because I didn’t have enough and added an extra 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Refrigerated the bread/custard and apple topping separately overnight. I took the components out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to baking and topped the bread with the apples. It needed about another 15 minutes of additional baking time uncovered to bring to proper temperature. Everyone loved it and said they thought that putting maple syrup in the apples would have made it too sweet. I will add the bourbon next time because I’m sure that will take it to the next level. Delicious!

    • — Linda Remick on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Another huge hit with our Airbnb guests! Having so many fabulous recipes from your website has helped to make me a Super Host! Thank you so much for all of the delicious breakfasts.

    • — Jan Weston on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Moist and delicious and a great way to use up the leftover challah from the holidays. Super easy to make. Get everything together, put it in the refrig overnight and put it in the oven in the morning. Highly recommend.

    • — Miriam Plax on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this for my birthday breakfast treat last weekend, and it was delicious!! Honeycrisp worked great. I didn’t have half & half so I used equal proportion of heavy cream and almond milk. I thought 5 seconds for the challah dipping was a little too long, as I ran out of custard with a few slices remaining (maybe I just counted too slowly!). It was no biggie in any case — I just alternated the drier and the wetter bread in the pan. My 6yo had the leftovers for 3 breakfasts in a row!

    • — Flo on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Jenn – wasn’t sure where to post this, but I would love love love to see a series of simple dinners or lunches you make when you don’t feel like cooking. Like eggs on toast, or brown rice with vegetables, or frozen pizza with salad on top or CEREAL! I love your site so much (and just defrosted a chocolate muffin for dinner haha) and just started wondering another your all-time easy recipes or “recipes.”

    • — Annie on September 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • LOL – hope you enjoyed your muffin last night! I do have a section for recipes that are quick and easy, so you may want to take a peek at those. That said, most of them are not quite as easy as what you requested above. I will consider creating a category like you’ve described for when you just don’t have it in you to really cook!

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2018
      • Reply
  • Could this recipe be frozen before it is baked? If yes, would I thaw completely and bake according to recipe? If I can’t freeze pre-baked, would it be okay to freeze it after it is baked and then reheat? Any tips or suggestions on the best way to reheat it. Thanks

    • — Cate Mawson on September 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Cate, I haven’t frozen this myself so I can’t say for sure, but I’d be a bit hesitant to freeze it, either baked or unbaked, because of all the dairy it has.

      • — Jenn on September 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m wondering if this can be made day before then heated slowly in oven next day?
    Your recipes are amazing!!
    MA

    • — Maryann on September 26, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes, Maryann! Yes, I actually recommend refrigerating this overnight before baking the following day- it allows the bread to absorb the custard. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Do you think you can freeze this before cooking. I need to make several things ahead for Thanksgiving. Thanks so much!

    • — Tory Meyer on September 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Tory, I haven’t frozen this myself so I can’t say for sure, but I’d be a bit hesitant to freeze it due to all the dairy.

      • — Jenn on September 25, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! We LOVE your recipes. Thank you for sharing them with us. Could you use French bread in place of the bread you recommend? Many thanks and we really appreciate your great recipes! God bless you.

    • — Joy on September 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Joy – really any bread will work.

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2018
      • Reply
  • Love your recipes and would love to try this one. Could I substitute almond milk for the half and half?

    • — Liz on September 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Liz – I think that will work. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I made your recipe for drunken caramel French toast recently. Was delightful. I just saw the apple recipe you’ve included now. I’d like to add apples to the drunken caramel recipe. I could sauté the apples for this recipe (adding pecans)and then serve on the side. Appreciate Your thoughts thank you.

    • — Cindy on September 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy, I think that’d be fine to make the drunken french toast and serve the caramelized apples on the side. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • This looks amazing. Two questions: (1) can I use, maybe, Cortland apples and skip the sautéing part and (2) can I use brioche, since heaven knows I can’t lay my hands on a challah loaf?

    • — Michele on September 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Michele, I really do like tart Grannies for this recipe but Cortland should work – maybe just add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the sliced apples. I wouldn’t skip the sautéing because the apples won’t get soft enough (I’ve tried it). And finally, you can definitely use brioche here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2018
      • Reply
      • Hi Jen ,
        Can I freeze the baked apple French toast raw? I’ll be subbing non dairy milk and butter…

        • — Chaya Kurz on August 17, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Chaya, Because you’re using non-dairy products, I suspect that it would freeze well. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

          • — Jenn on August 18, 2019
          • Reply
  • I apologize that this is not a question, nor a review, but a comment. After I read your new recipe, I began browsing other recipes here for a cornbread recipe, and noticed the picture of challah. When I clicked on it, I was directed that the recipe is in the cookbook. I want to thank you for doing this! It is great to be able to see the recipes that are in your cookbook cross referenced on your website! Thank you. More later when I actually make this. Meanwhile, on to the cornbread muffins!

    • — Karen T on September 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn! I wanted to let you know that I too appreciate that you added the recipes from your cookbook to your blog’s table of contents! Makes me feel more sane when I am searching for one of your delicious recipes and I can’t find it online— now I instantly know where it is!

      • — Erin on September 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen – we just went apple picking and have a whole host of Gala apples. Would those work well here or do we need to tartness of Granny Smith?

    • — Meg on September 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Meg, Granny Smith apples work best here but I think you could use Gala, too — just add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the cooked apples.

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2018
      • Reply

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