1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
4 pears, peeled and thickly sliced
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. finely chopped ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
Juice of 1 small orange or splash of orange liqueur
1/4 cup maple syrup, or sweetened to taste
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
1 loaf of brioche or egg bread, cut into 8 thick slices
Butter, as need for griddle
4 to 5 ounces Brie, cut into thick slices
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Icing sugar, for dusting
Maple syrup, for serving
If using frozen cranberries, thaw before using.
Add butter to a large, wide skillet over medium high heat. When butter starts to melt, add pears and cranberries, ginger and cinnamon. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, add orange juice, maple syrup and vanilla.
Cook until pears and cranberries are tender and juices are syrupy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Beat eggs and milk together with sugar and salt in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Set aside.
Heat griddle to medium heat. (Alternatively, cook French toast in batches using a large skillet.)
Dip each bread slice into the egg mixture until evenly soaked.
Add butter to griddle. When butter melts, add soaked bread slices. Cook French toast until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
To assemble each sandwich: Sandwich slices of brie, warm Pear and Cranberry and pecans between 2 slices of French toast.
Skewer with toothpicks, if desired. Cut each French toast sandwich in half on the diagonal. Dust with icing sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.
Yield: 4 servings