Jacques Pépin smiling
Why Jacques Pépin Uses Ice Cream To Make French Toast

As a busy breakfast chef during the 1950s at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, Jacques Pépin developed a shortcut for preparing the restaurant's popular French toast for guests.

Instead of using the typical custard of milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs, Pépin streamlined the assembly and cleanup process by soaking the bread in melted vanilla ice cream.

This swap reduces the recipe to just three ingredients. Pépin's French toast uses French-style vanilla ice cream, which is traditionally made with egg yolks.

Pépin soaks each thick slice of firm white bread in roughly one cup of melted French vanilla ice cream on a rimmed dinner plate and pan-fries it in unsalted butter.

Once the bread turns golden brown, Pépin serves it atop the leftover melted ice cream. He tops the French toast with sliced bananas and maple syrup.