Baked French Toast with Pears and Hazelnuts– a delicious fall-inspired brunch recipe. 
Baked French Toast with Pears and Hazelnuts- a delicious fall-inspired brunch recipe. #frenchtoast #bakedfrenchtoast #brunch #pearrecipes #fallrecipes
In France, French toast is called pain perdu, which literally means “lost bread”.  The unused, leftover and stale bits of bread are soaked in a batter of cream and eggs, and then fried, transforming the bread into a delicious hearty meal.  
Nothing is wasted. This French toast recipe is baked instead of fried and can be assembled the day before, which makes it easy if you are having guests over. It’s a cozy and decadent recipe featuring fall pears caramelized in butter and maple syrup with toasted hazelnuts and real vanilla beans. It’s perfect for the holidays or a special occasion brunch. 

This can be made in a baking dish, a large cast iron skillet, or even individual oven-proof ramekins or bowls.

How to make Baked French Toast

Use leftover bread, french bread or baguettes, or for an extra special touch- make or buy brioche. See notes for a good recipe!

For extra flavor, infuse the cream with real vanilla. With a sharp knife, split a vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the tiny seeds and place but he the seeds and pod in small pan of half and half. Warm on the stove.

I used bosc pears, but really any pear would work great.

Caramelize the pears in a skillet with butter and at the end add a splash of maple syrup. This gives the french toast a little depth.

Toasted hazelnuts, crushed with a rolling pin, also add depth and fall flavor. You could substitute pecans.

Make the batter with eggs and half and half, nutmeg, and cardamon. Adding a little orange zest to the batter brightens the dish.

Arrange bread, caramelized pears and hazelnuts in a baking dish and pour batter over top, being sure to get in between all the cracks and crevices.

It’s important to let the bread have some time to soak up the batter. You could do all of this the night before and refrigerate. Or let stand 30 minutes, before baking.

Instead of a baking dish, you could use individual ovenproof bowls or ramekins, to spice up the presentation. Just remember that if the bread is layered higher than two inches, you may need to increase the baking time.
Baked French Toast with Pears and Hazelnuts- a delicious fall-inspired brunch recipe. #frenchtoast #bakedfrenchtoast #brunch #pearrecipes #fallrecipes

One of the wonderful things about this dish is how your house will smell when you pull it out of the oven.

Bake in a 350 F oven, until it is puffed and golden, about 45 minutes.
Baked French Toast with Pears and Hazelnuts- a delicious fall-inspired brunch recipe. #frenchtoast #bakedfrenchtoast #brunch #pearrecipes #fallrecipes
When it comes out of the oven, dot the top with a little butter and serve with warm maple syrup.

More recipes you may enjoy

Hope you enjoy this Baked French Toast, let us know what you think in the comments below.
Have a beautiful, joy-filled day.
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Baked French Toast with Pears and Hazelnuts

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Brunch, breakfast,
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Baked French Toast with Pears and Hazelnuts– a delicious fall-inspired brunch recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 78 cups french bread or (about one large loaf) or baguette or brioche bread
  • 2 ripe bosc pears
  • 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts, crushed
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half ( or use whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup (divided)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Zest of one small orange

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Toast hazelnuts 10-15 mins, let cool, and gently crush (using a rolling pin).
  3. Split vanilla bean, scrape out seeds and place directly in a small saucepan with 2 1/2 C half and half. Add the remaining vanilla pod. Warm up the half and half and vanilla on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost to a boil. Turn heat off and let cool and seep 20-30 minutes.
  4. Slice the pears. Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté pears on medium heat until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Simmer for a few more minutes, allowing them to caramelize. Set aside.
  5. Cut bread into 1/2 inch slices. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, salt, spices, orange zest and 3 tablespoons  maple syrup. When the half and half has cooled, remove the vanilla pod, and add a little at time into the egg mixture, mixing it together. (Do NOT add hot cream to the egg mixture, it may cause your eggs to curdle. Either let the cream cool, or temper the eggs, by adding just a little warm cream at a time, mixing in-between… so the eggs gradually warm-up.)
  6. Generously butter a 9x 13-inch baking dish. Layer bread, hazelnuts, and caramelized pears pouring all the buttery syrup from the pan evenly over the bread. Pour batter over, using a spatula to ensure it goes in all the cracks crevasses. Let sit at least 30 minutes, so bread can soak up batter, or refrigerate overnight.
  7. Right before placing in the oven, drizzle the top with 1 more T maple syrup and sprinkle with a pinch of cardamon.
  8. Bake 45-50 minutes until puffed and golden. If your layers measure higher than two inches, you may need to bake longer. Check the middle to see if all the liquid is cooked. I have found that the true test is, if it puffs up, it is done. Melt small dots of butter over the top and serve with warm maple syrup.

Notes

Here is a good recipe for Brioche:

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Using whole milk
  • Calories: 586
  • Sugar: 29.6 g
  • Sodium: 724.5 mg
  • Fat: 20.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 79.9 g
  • Fiber: 4.9 g
  • Protein: 22.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 237.3 mg

Keywords: baked French toast, baked French toast with pears

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Comments

  1. My friends came to stay with us and I wanted something special but also a one pan recipe for breakfast. I found three on your page easily. I have been making your recipes for a while now and I can’t thank you enough! You are so gifted and I love that I have a trusted place to come to try new things and add recipes to my regular rotation. Thank you for all you do!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this Rayanne! Apprecate your kind words- and so happy you are here! 🥰

  2. Hi Sylvia,
    Your recipe mentioned a brioche recipe, but I couldn’t find the link for it. I did a search on your blog for it as well and didn’t find it there. I was wondering if you still had it. By the way, I am loving all your recipes. I too enjoy flavors from around the world and have been happy to find recipes that I’m not needing to tweak to fit my taste. Thank you!

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks so much! And Sorry about that- I just added a link in the recipe notes. 😉

        1. Thanks Amanda- let me know how it turns out- it is an older one and I haven’t made it in years- so any feedback will be helpful!!!

  3. Kelly Feb 21, 2008 – I think that buying lolalcy (and organic) when you can, and buying organic when you can’t buy lolalcy is a good compromise. Why should anyone have to give up mangos???

  4. Sylvia, these photos are so amazing that I want to run to the kitchen and make myself a huge portion of baked French toast too.

  5. Wowo! What a delicious looking dish! And so beautifully photographed. Pinning this for later… Thanks for the recipe!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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