A perfect combination of breakfast and dessert, Bill Brodsky’s Pain Perdu Pudding is a cross between a traditional bread pudding and French toast. For the best result, Brodsky suggests using heartier styles like brioche, challah or country white and avoiding flimsy sandwich breads. Note that there is a lot of downtime in this recipe – there are several resting period that take many hours each – but it couldn’t be simpler to put together. Try it the next time you need an easy and delicious brunch dish.
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large loaf bread, roughly cubed
- Combine and mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl until well mixed. Add the bread and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Generously spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray making sure to coat the corners well. Add the bread/custard mixture and level the top. Cover the top with plastic wrap and then cover the plastic wrap with aluminum foil. Let this sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 12 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- To cook the pudding, bake it on the middle rack of your preheated oven for approximately 1 to 1¼ hours. To ensure it is done cooking, the center of the pudding should be a little firm to the touch and the edges of the pudding should have pulled away from the pan. Cook it the entire way with the plastic and foil cover.
- When cooked, let the pudding rest uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate it overnight, still uncovered.
- To de-mold the pudding the next day, heat the bottom of the pan over a burner and then flip the pan upside down on a large cutting board. This requires a little patience at times, and be careful not to drop the pudding and/or burn yourself.
- Once de-molded, slice the pudding into strips. This may all be done in advance and either refrigerated and/or frozen at this point.
- To cook the Pain Perdu, add a little canola or vegetable oil to a preheated pan or griddle and place the strips of the pudding into the pan. Brown each side for 3 to 4 minutes and serve. Suggested toppings include powdered sugar, maple syrup or a variety of fruit chutneys.
- If the slices are thick, or if you are entertaining a larger group, you can brown each side slightly and reserve them all on a cookie sheet. You can then heat the entire pan in a 350 degree oven until hot and serve everyone at the same time.