For the french toast:
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 loaf brioche bread or challah, cut into 1-inch thick slices
5 large organic eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange liqueur
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
For the pears:
3 tablespoons butter
3 medium pears – peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter until melted and smooth. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
Cut the bread slices into triangles, then layer into prepared baking pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, blend together the eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, salt and orange liqueur. Pour mixture over bread in pan and wrap tightly with saran wrap. Let chill in fridge 8 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, let sit out at room temperature for half an hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until bread is golden and puffed. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with sautéed pears.
For the pears:
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; add pears.
Cook, stirring constantly, until pears are almost tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Add apple cider to skillet. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve warm with french toast.