Pain Perdu

Serves

Pain perdu is French for "lost bread"; the term refers to the practice of "reviving" stale bread by soaking it in an egg batter and then sautéeing it for French toast. This is a decadently delicious, adult version of French toast, enriched with cream and subtly flavored with orange. Any firm bread - brioche, challah, Italian, French - works well. Serve with hot maple syrup and whipped butter for a special breakfast treat!


Ingredients

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup half and half
2 large eggs
  Grated rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 pieces firm bread (cut at least 1/2 inch thick, crusts optional)
1/4 cup butter (preferably clarified)


Directions

Combine the cream, half and half, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk to blend.

Add the orange rind, juice, Grand Marnier, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and whisk to combine.

Add the bread slices to the bowl and soak for 2 or 3 minutes on each side. (You may need to do this in batches.) The soaking time will depend on the thickness, texture, and freshness of the bread. It should not be dry inside, nor should it soak so long that it falls apart.

Liberally brush a griddle or large skillet with butter and heat over medium heat. Add a single layer of bread slices (don't crowd the pan) and cook until the bread turns golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and finish cooking the other side, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining bread, adding more butter as necessary.

The Pain Perdu may be held in the oven at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes before serving.

 

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