The following recipe comes from FiveContinents Bed and Breakfast in New Orleans, Louisiana. The inn is located on Esplanade Avenue in a Greek Revival mansion, and it's only six blocks from the lively French Quarter. Each of the rooms are named for a different continent and decorated with art work from that continent.
Baked Anjou Pear French Toast
Prep time: 20 minutes
- About 1 loaf French baguette sliced into 1"-thick slices
- 3 anjiou pears, pealed, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
- 8 oz. Brie cheese, rind removed and cheese thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish or six individual ramekins; set aside. In a large skillet cook pears, brown sugar and rosemary in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until pears are just tender. Arrange 7-8 bread slices in prepared baking dish or 2 in ramekins in a single layer.
Spoon pear mixture and arrange Brie on bread slices. Top each stack with another bread slice. Brush bread with melted butter. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over bread. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla and salt. Slowly pour or ladel mixture over bread slices. Cover and chill for 1-24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake, uncovered for 40-45 minutes or unitl edges are puffed and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm with maple syrup, berries, honey or cranberry preserve. Add smoked bacon or sausage links on side. Makes 6-8 servings in baking dish, 6 in ramekins.
By Emily Starbuck Crone