4 large eggs
¾ cup half & half
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp grated orange peel
½ tsp vanilla
8 ¾” thick French bread slices
4 Tblsp butter
Whisk eggs, half & half, ¼ cup Grand Marnier, sugar, orange peel and vanilla in a medium bowl. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture and arrange in a 13x9x2” baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over the bread. Cover and chill at least 20 minutes or, preferably, overnight.
For the compote, combine cherries, 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, orange juice, lavender and 4 tablespoons maple syrup in a small bowl and allow to soak for 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to small saucepan. Being careful not to boil or brown, heat on low, stirring frequently until the cherries plump. Remove from heat. Set aside
In a skillet, toast the walnut pieces over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pour 2 inches of water into a small saucepan. Stand the open bottle of maple syrup the water. Turn the burner on low to heat the syrup. It should not boil or simmer.
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Remove the chilled slices from the refrigerator, melt the butter in skillet or on a griddle and toast the slices until browned on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). Transfer to oven to keep warm.
Serve two slices per plate, topped with cherry compote, a dollop of Greek yogurt, toasted walnuts, warm maple syrup and finish with a scattering of orange zest and lavender blossoms. Enjoy!