Pain Perdu

The Mister and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary, which fell on a weekend this year and I thought: "What better way to celebrate than over a homemade brunch consisting of carbs, heavy cream, butter, and sugar? And maple syrup." Pain perdu is a recipe I have been wanting to try out for a while and I am happy to say it is a winner. The name means 'lost'-or-'wasted' bread, and was a way for people to use up stale bread. In fact, this will be a better recipe if you use day-old bread rather something freshly made. The end result will be something halfway between a traditional American french toast and a bread pudding...and it is 100% yummy. Get yourself a good loaf of sturdy white country bread, (or challah, a french boule, or something similar,) some eggs, heavy cream (I used half & half), granulated sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, and flour. DSCN1435 DSCN1439 DSCN1438 Two to three hours before you are planning on sitting down to your morning feast, cut your bread into good, thick slices (I had four hefty ones in this iteration). In a bowl, whisk together four large eggs, two cups of heavy cream, a cup of granulated sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla and a dash of salt. DSCN1440DSCN1442 DSCN1446 DSCN1447 Lay your slices of bread in a baking dish and then pour your egg-cream-sugar mixture over top, making sure all the bread gets a good dousing of it. Let it sit for a few minutes and then turn over each slice of bread, making sure they are soaking up a fair amount of the custard. Cover in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. If you are using stale or day-old bread, let it sit for longer until the bread has soaked up all that creamy goodness. DSCN1448 DSCN1449 About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and pull your bread out of the fridge. Toss a few pads of butter into a large frying pan set over medium heat. Dust the tops of your bread with a small bit of flour and working in batches, begin sautéing (flour side down) in the butter. Toast on one side for three to four minutes, until you get a golden crust. DSCN1456 DSCN1457 Gently flip over and do the same until both sides are browned, crusty and delicious looking. Once you have finished browning up all the eggy bread, place them in a single layer on a large platter or baking dish in the oven, where they will finish cooking for another 5 minutes. I served them up with some mixed berries, a generous dusting of powdered sugar, Vermont maple syrup (of course!) and virgin Bloody Marys. DSCN1453 DSCN1459 DSCN1460 DSCN1465 After looking at various interpretations of this recipe online, it looks like you could mix it up by adding in some orange zest and Grand Marnier....or some cinnamon and nutmeg...they all look like scrumptious variations and I look forward to trying them all out. Even Didi wants to get in on the action! DSCN1463 DSCN1464 I did my best but couldn't make it through an entire plate. DSCN1466
Posted on September 15, 2013
Posted by Meghan

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