Classic pain perdu, widely known as French toast, is an easy preparation of thickly sliced bread soaked in a sweetened, vanilla-scented custard mixture and then fried in butter to golden perfection. Many variations of stuffed lost bread, another of its names, abound, but this Brie stuffed pain perdu with cranberry cherry sauce recipe takes the breakfast specialty to a whole new level. Nutty, savory melted Brie both fills and tops the delicately butter-crisped bread, and is dressed up even further with sweet cherry berry sauce. This dish is a must-have for special occasions!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- Berry sauce:
- 8 ounces cherries, pitted
- 6 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 small strip fresh orange zest
- Pain perdu:
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 8 thick slices of day-old bread, cut on a bias
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 wheel Brie, cut into 12 thin slices
Cook's note: While softer breads may be used, this French toast recipe produces great results with a drier, more substantial bread, like a country loaf or baguettes.
Cherry cranberry sauce:
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan set over medium heat, and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the fruit, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst. Remove the orange zest and set the cranberry cherry sauce aside until the pain perdu is completed.
Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract together until the mixture is completely blended and smooth. Stir the milk into the egg mixture until it is fully incorporated. Place the slices of bread into the egg mixture, turn them over to coat all the surfaces, and allow the bread to soak for 10 minutes.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook 4 slices of soaked bread in the melted butter for 3 minutes. Flip 2 pieces of bread over in the pan, and layer the cooked, facing-up sides with 2 slices of Brie each. Top the cheese with the remaining 2 pieces of bread in the pan, uncooked side facing up. Allow the stuffed French toast to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, and then turn them over and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until they are golden brown and lightly crispy on each side. Repeat the same process with the remaining butter, soaked bread, and 4 slices of Brie.
Top each Brie stuffed pain perdu with 1 slice of Brie and a spoonful of berry sauce.
This Brie-stuffed pain perdu with holiday berry sauce recipe makes 4 servings.
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