Pain Perdu Recipe

Don't call it French toast, because pain perdu is so much more. While the concept is similar – somewhat stale or "lost" bread getting an egg-and-vanilla bath and hitting the griddle – pain perdu elevates it to dessert status (which, of course, the French find barbaric).

Custardy and sweet, pain perdu is an excellent recipe to add to your repertoire. The morning when all you have in the fridge is eggs, cream and stale-ish bread becomes the morning you're going to make dessert-for-breakfast from scratch.

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Pain Perdu Recipe
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  • 4 1-inch thick slices country bread
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  1. Place bread in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix cream, eggs, sugar, brandy and salt in a blender. Pour over bread slices.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning once to ensure proper absorption.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º F. Heat large oven proof saute pan over medium-high heat and add butter. When foam subsides, put soaked bread in pan and cook on one side, 5 minutes. Turn and place in oven, 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked through and custardy in the middle.
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