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Called pain perdu, "lost bread," in French, this recipe rescues yesterday's bread by soaking it in an egg mixture before cooking. In a departure from tradition, these directions call for baking rather than frying French toast, with delicious results.
- 8 eggs
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 slices dense-textured white sandwich bread or brioche, each 1 inch thick
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- For Topping:
- 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 8 strawberries, stems removed and halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
- Confectioners' sugar
- Fresh mint sprigs
- Maple syrup, warmed
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, granulated sugar, nutmeg and vanilla until well blended. Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish large enough to accommodate the bread slices in a single layer. Place the bread slices in the dish and let soak for 15 minutes. Turn over the slices, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for as long as overnight.
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Using a spatula, carefully remove the bread from the dish and transfer to a flat plate or baking sheet. Let stand for 2 minutes to drain off the excess batter.
In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Carefully slide a bread slice off the plate or sheet into the pan and cook until light golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn over the slice and cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the slice to a clean baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices.
Place the toast in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. The toast will puff up during baking. To check for doneness, cut into the center of a piece. If it is still somewhat runny, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
FOR TOPPING: In a bowl, combine the orange segments, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, granulated sugar and liqueur. Toss gently.
TO SERVE: Transfer the toasts to warmed individual plates. Sift confectioners' sugar over the tops. Spoon equal amounts of the topping onto each plate. Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve with maple syrup.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
1141 calories; 101g total fat; 732mg cholesterol; 328mg sodium; 40g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 20g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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