Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu
Like most women, I need to have an oversized handbag slung over my shoulder before I head out the door. Even though my essentials don’t take up much space, I like to be prepared for spontaneous purchases that can happen during the course of the day. Usually this means a stop at a farmers market or a charming neighborhood grocery where I walk away with a baton of French bread peaking out from the top my purse.

The other day I picked up a baguette to go along with a simple salad for dinner. With half the loaf left, I could have cut it into cubes for croutons, but I ended up making pain perdu, French toast the way the French do it. I soaked the bread slices in an eggy milk mixture before they hit the griddle. I topped off this effortless but somehow fancy breakfast with strawberries tossed in sugar, slivered almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Pain Perdu
Pan Perdu

Serves 4

1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 baguette, stale, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Maple syrup for serving
Slivered almonds for serving
Confectioners’ sugar for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries and 1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, salt and remaining sugar. Pour over the baguette slices and soak for 15 minutes flipping over halfway through.

Heat the butter in a nonstick pan or on a griddle over medium high heat. Cook the baguette slices until they are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Top with maple syrup, slivered almonds and confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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