Easy and delicious, this overnight french toast casserole is perfect for the holidays.
4cupssliced peeled Anjou or Concorde pears
1Tbspgranulated white sugar
16-20slicescinnamon swirl breadcut in half diagonally
1cupshredded Gruyère cheeseabout 4 oz
1 1/2cupswhole milkor half and half cream
5Tbspgranulated white sugar
1Tbspturbinado sugaror white sugar
Icing/confectioners' sugarfor dusting
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.