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Pain Perdu

This homey dessert is a cross between bread pudding and French toast. To create an elegant presentation, cut into neat rounds with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass.

  • Yield: Makes 8 three-inch rounds

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2003

Ingredients

  • 1 pound day-old brioche loaf
  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim side and bottom crusts from brioche, leaving top crust intact. Slice brioche 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; lay bread pieces in pan so that they overlap slightly, with top crusts visible.

  2. Make custard: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk milk, cream, sugar, vanilla scrapings, and liqueur. Cook until hot but not simmering.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and yolks. Whisking constantly, pour 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into eggs; slowly add remaining milk mixture.

  4. Pour custard over bread, making sure to soak completely. Bake until firm to the touch, about 1 hour; if needed, press bread with a spatula to keep it moist.

  5. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly before cutting into rounds with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Serve warm.

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