Preheat a convection oven to 400 degrees F. Melt half (8 ounces) of the butter and set aside.
Place the drained pear slices in a large bowl and toss them with the butter, 1-1/2 cups of the brown sugar and cinnamon until they are well coated. Arrange the pears in a single layer on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Roast the pears for about 30 minutes or until they caramelize, turning occasionally. Remove the pears from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Set half aside for garnish and coarsely chop the remaining caramelized pears; set aside.
Meanwhile, make the custard. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, remaining 2 cups of brown sugar and liqueur until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to prepare the French Toast.
To assemble, arrange half of the slices of bread on a clean, dry surface. Evenly spread each slice with 1 tablespoon cream-cheese mixture and top with 1/3 cup diced pears. Cover the topped slices with the remaining bread.
Dip each sandwich in the prepared custard and let it sit for 5 to 10 seconds. Turn and soak another 5 seconds, then remove the sandwiches from the custard and shake off the excess custard. Press the dipped sandwiches into the sliced almonds to form a crust on both sides and place them on a sheet pan. Cover and chill until ready to cook.
Use the remaining butter to grease a skillet over medium high heat. When the butter is hot, add as many French toast sandwiches as will fit in the pan without crowding and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the almonds turn golden brown. When both sides are cooked, return the sandwiches to the sheet pan and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.
To serve, slice each sandwich in half, arrange the halves on a plate and garnish with the reserved caramelized pear slices, maple syrup, cinnamon-sugar and other fresh fruit if desired.