Make holiday breakfast easy with this easy and delicious Pear Gruyere Overnight French Toast Casserole! Lovely served with bacon or sausage.
I stumbled on this recipe recently and was so intrigued by the flavour combination. Not to mention the easy overnight french toast casserole part :) It's the season when things like that come in handy!
Pears are one of my favourite baked fruits and the nutty flavour of Gruyere cheese compliments it perfectly. But there's more. There's cinnamon raisin bread as the base of this one. It's all bathed in a milk and egg mixture and left to sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning, simply bake and enjoy.
The flavours of this french toast casserole pair beautifully with something salty - bacon, bacon bacon, sausage or ham.
We actually enjoyed this as "breakfast for dinner", so don't hesitate to mix up in the morning and let it sit in the fridge all day, then bake up for dinner.
Cook's Notes for Pear Gruyere Overnight French Toast Casserole
I used Anjou pears for my dish. They held their shape well and had great flavour.
Use whatever milk (or light cream) you like. I used whole (3%) milk.
You can add a drizzle of maple syrup to serve if you like, though I didn't really think it needed it.
The original "light" recipe called for 1% milk and egg substitute, if you'd prefer to make the lightened up version.
Gruyere cheese can be pricey, but it takes a relatively small piece for the 1 cup shredded. So don't feel you need to buy a big piece. You'll need about 4 oz. It really is the best choice for this casserole, but if you can't find it, I'm thinking an Emmental cheese would be a nice substitute.
Adapted from a Cooking Light Recipe
Pear Gruyere Overnight French Toast Casserole
- 4 cups sliced peeled Anjou or Concorde pears
- 2 tsp butter (melted)
- 1 Tbsp granulated white sugar
- 16-20 slices cinnamon swirl bread (cut in half diagonally)
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (about 4 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (or half and half cream)
- 5 Tbsp granulated white sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar (or white sugar)
- Icing/confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine the sliced pears, melted butter and the 1 Tbsp of sugar. Toss gently to coat.
- In a greased 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, arrange half of the bread slices on the bottom of the pan. Spoon pear mixture overtop, then top evenly with shredded cheese. Arrange remaining bread on top.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, 5 Tbsp sugar, eggs and cinnamon. Pour over bread, then press down slightly with the back of a spatula to submerge the bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Remove covering from dish. Sprinkle turbinado (or white) sugar evenly over top. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes to set up. Cut into squares to serve. Serve dusted with icing sugar and/or a drizzle of maple syrup, if you like.