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When I made this Pear and Cranberry French Toast for a weekday breakfast – my entire family was horrified when I removed the crusts. I only made that mistake once, after that the crusts were left intact.
Crusts or not, this French Toast was a delicious way to enjoy a last taste of winter inspired fruits.

PEAR AND CRANBERRY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

SPICED PEAR FILLING
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
FRENCH TOAST
2 eggs
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more to top if desired
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 slices bread
1 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
powdered sugar

Combine pear slices, dried cranberries, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Toss to coat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile in another bowl, combine eggs, almond milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until well combined.
Coat 4 slices of bread with a layer of mascarpone. Dip each into the egg mixture, coating both sides, and top each with 1/4 of the pear-cranberry filling. Dip the remaining bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides, and top each prepared base to make a sandwich (or you could make it like I did – dipped each piece of bread, cooked them, then spread with mascarpone and topped with the filling and another slice of bread).
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add butter. Once melted, place sandwiches in pan, cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is golden, flip and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more until other side is golden and sandwich is cooked through. Remove from pan and slice each diagonally.
Serve with powdered sugar and additional maple syrup if desired.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Shape Magazine, November 2013
www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes‎

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