Cornbread Pain Perdu

Tis the season for weekend guests – that you have to entertain and feed for days on end. Treat them to this delicious cornbread pain perdu from Tony Maws for Sunday brunch. Plan to make the cornbread the night before, and Sunday morning will be a snap. Serve with warm maple syrup, berries or, if you’re really feeling decadent, a little whipped cream.


Servings: 4


For the cornbread
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the soaking liquid
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups vanilla sugar*
  • kosher salt to taste
  • butter for cooking


For the cornbread
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard size loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal and baking powder.
  3. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Then, add the eggs two at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract.
  4. Alternately add the dry mix and sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
For the pain perdu
  1. Combine all the soaking liquid ingredients (except the butter) and blend together.
  2. Slice the cornbread into 3/4 inch slices. Soak the slices of cornbread in the milk-egg mixture for a few seconds.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or cast iron pan on medium-low heat. Place a small bit of butter in the pan and allow to melt completely.
  4. Place the soaked corn bread slices onto the buttered griddle and cook until both sides are browned and hot throughout.
  5. Serve warm.
*Vanilla sugar can be made by letting a vanilla beam sit in a jar of regular white sugar for a few days. If not available, substitute the same amount of sugar and a dash of vanilla extract.

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