Sweet cinnamon bread meets juicy pears in this French toast-like dish that can be prepared ahead of time. The Gruyere cheese adds just the right savory flavor.
4 cups peeled, sliced Anjou or Concorde pears
2 tsp melted butter
6 TBS granulated sugar, divided
12 (1-oz) slices of cinnamon swirl bread, cut in half diagonally
4 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup of eggs (about 4)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBS turbinado sugar
Combine pears, butter and 1 TBS sugar in large bowl. Toss gently.
Arrange half of bread in an 11 x 7 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon pears evenly over bread; top with cheese. Arrange remaining bread over cheese.
Combine remaining 5 TBS sugar with milk, eggs, and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Pour milk mixture over bread, pressing down so bread is covered. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Uncover dish. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over bread. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes to an hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into 8 squares and serve with maple syrup.