The French-toast-like topping makes this sweet and tart “cobbler” appropriate for breakfast, brunch or dessert. The method can be used for various other fruits, such as peaches and raspberries or apples and cherries.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
Stir together maple syrup and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add pears and cranberries and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake until the fruit is just tender and the juices have begun to thicken, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in a large shallow dish. Cut each bread slice in half diagonally. Immerse the bread in the egg-milk mixture, carefully turning the slices for even soaking.
Remove the pan from the oven and stir the fruit. Arrange the bread in rows on top of the fruit. Combine sugar and nutmeg; sprinkle evenly over the bread. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the bread is golden, 20 to 30 minutes more. Serve warm.