recipes barefoot contessa

Pain Perdu (Serves 6)

Copyright 2004, Barefoot in Parisby Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers , All Rights Reserved

Photo: Quentin Bacon

1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier, divided
6 extra-large eggs
11/2 cups milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons honey
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large brioche loaf or challah
Unsalted butter
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) sliced blanched almonds, toasted
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve

Combine the sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the Grand Marnier in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, honey, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier, the vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Slice the bread in 3/4-inch slices. Pour the egg mixture into a large shallow plate and soak a few slices of bread for 4 minutes, turning once.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Take each slice of bread from the egg mixture, dip one side in the toasted almonds, and place in the sauté pan, almond side down. (While you’re cooking each batch, add more bread to the egg mixture to soak.) Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked bread on a baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil, and continue to fry the remaining soaked bread until they’re all cooked. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot with the strawberries.