The night before, you will make the French toast. I know I cringed, too, the first time I tried this, wondering what would happen to the bread. But this dish is fabulous and such a time-saver for holidays.

You begin by smearing the butter over the bottom and sides of a 13” x 9” baking dish or other shallow 2-quart baking dish. Tear the bread into small pieces and scatter in the dish.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until light. Add the remainder and whisk well. Pour over the bread evenly. Tamp down the bread with a spoon or spatula to submerge each piece in egg mixture. Cover with foil, gently pressing down so the foil is right on the surface of the mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the dish and slide into cold oven with foil on. Turn oven on to 350 degrees. After 25 minutes, gently pull of the discard foil. Continue to bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown, about another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the spiced pears. Melt butter in a wide frying pan over medium-high heat and add pears. Stir until pears are coated well with butter, and then sprinkle sugar and Sweet Cinn and continue to cook about 3 minutes until pears begin to soften. Pour in ¼ cup maple syrup, cook until bubbly and remove from heat.

To serve, spoon bread pudding onto ramekins and top with spiced pears. Pass additional maple syrup at the table. This is a great holiday recipe. It’s so easy to serve in the morning, because all the work is done ahead of time. Great time-saver. And kids love it.