- Brush the inside of a 13” x 9” baking dish with the butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle half evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Set the slices of panettone in the baking dish in 2, overlapping rows.
- Beat eggs in a medium bowl until well blended. Mix in milk, cream and orange juice. Using a ladle, slowly pour this mixture over the panettone; ensuring the slices get evenly coated. Sprinkle panettone with remaining brown sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Now make pomegranate maple syrup to serve with the French toast. Place the pomegranate juice in a small pot and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce juice to 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat and mix in the maple syrup. Cool to room temperature, transfer to a serving vessel, cover and refrigerate until needed.
- The next morning when ready to bake French toast, preheat oven to 375˚F. Bake French toast, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes, or until very hot and egg mixture is cooked.
- Plate and serve the French toast with the syrup, fruit and whipped cream, if using. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.
Note: 6, 1” thick slices of panettone, each cut in half, widthwise, should yield the size of slice needed here. Fiasconaro brand panettone was used when testing this recipe.
Recipe options: You could, of course, simply serve the French toast with maple syrup, instead of the pomegranate flavoured one. If you like spice, you could also a few pinches of ground nutmeg and clove to the brown sugar mixture.