This week's recipe comes from one of my favourite French chefs, Raymond Blanc.
Pain perdu means ‘lost bread’ (in England it is often known as French toast), and this recipe was devised as a means of using up leftover bread. The red fruits can be replaced by apples or peaches, in which case you will need to increase the cooking time by up to 5 minutes for apples or 3 minutes for peaches.
50g (2oz) caster sugar
100ml (3½fl oz) full-fat milk
2 tsp rum or cognac (optional)
a few drops of best quality vanilla extract (optional)
4 slices of bread, cut 2cm (¾in) thick, crusts removed, cut in half
40g (1½oz) unsalted butter
shredded fresh mint, to decorate
for the warm raspberries and strawberries
2 tbsp water
50g (2oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) chilled unsalted butter, diced
100g (4oz) strawberries, cut in half (or quartered if large)
100g (4oz) raspberries
2 tsp kirsch or cognac
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Gradually mix in the milk and the rum or cognac and vanilla extract, if using. Place the slices of bread in a large dish and pour over the egg mixture. Allow the bread to soak for 4–5 minutes, then turn the slices over and soak for a further 4–5 minutes to ensure that all the liquid is absorbed.Carefully lift the bread from the dish with a fish slice and place on a baking sheet. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2.
On a medium heat, in a large frying pan, melt half the 40g (1½oz) butter.When it is foaming, add two bread slices and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Clean the pan, return it to the heat, melt the remaining butter and cook the remaining bread. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
To prepare the fruit, put the water in a medium frying pan and scatter the sugar over it in an even layer. Let the sugar absorb the water for a few minutes, then place the pan on a medium heat and leave, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and formed a syrup. Simmer until the syrup turns into a very pale blond caramel.
Stir the diced butter into the caramel,addthe strawberries and raspberries,then the kirsch or cognac,and cook for 30 seconds to soften the fruit and create delicious juices. To serve, remove the hot slices of bread from the oven and place on four plates. Spoon the warm strawberries and raspberries over the bread and spoon the red fruit syrup around, then decorate with a little shredded mint.
.......Bon appeitit a tous, Leeann
p.s. I am still painting the dresser!