Submitted by Andrea Grassby Valentini
This is a breakfast or brunch dish I’ve made for years, that I adapted from my French grand-maman’s recipe. I have wonderful memories of being in her big kitchen in her Quebec City home, on a crisp winter’s day, inhaling the tantalizing aroma of pain perdu cooking in her big cast iron skillet, while I stirred the berries in the maple syrup on the wood stove.
ANDREA’S PAIN PERDU (SOURDOUGH FRENCH TOAST) with MAPLE BERRY SYRUP
1/2 loaf sourdough bread (8 slices)
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Cut bread into 8 thick slices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon until combined; pour mixture in to a shallow dish.
Preheat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and grease with butter.
Place bread slice in the egg mixture and soak until saturated, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side (thicker bread needs more soaking time).
Transfer bread to skillet/griddle and cook until golden, 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook until golden on the other side. The center of the bread should spring back when lightly pressed when the pain perdu is done.
Transfer to serving plates and serve immediately with Maple-Berry sauce
¾ cup pure maple syrup
3 cups raspberries or any berries of your choice
Combine the syrup and berries in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the berries begin to soften and release some juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Andrea is a life long leftist activist and a former campaign organizer of both provincial and federal NDP campaigns from the 1960's through to the 1990's. She lives in Toronto.
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