Pain perdu or French toast may not have come from France. The origin of this dish is not known, however a recipe for it can be traced back to a fourth century Roman cookbook. This is the first known printed documentation for this dish. Pain perdu is just another great recipe borne out of necessity. What to do with stale bread? Huh. Let’s soak it in milk and eggs and fry it, that aught to work. Here is a variation on the classic recipe.
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
16 slices stale French bread (if you wanted to do this as a brunch item, you could use a baguette and make many 2 or 3 bite sized servings as well.)
1 jar of your favorite preserves
1 8oz package softened cream cheese
1/8 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Whisk together vigorously or put into a blender. Butter the botton of a 9 by 13” baking dish. Pour half the batter into the baking dish. In another bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half tsp of vanilla. Beat to cream everything together. Take 8 slices of the French toast and on each slice put a liberal amount of cream cheese and preserves. Place the slices jelly side up into the casserole and move them around until all of the batter has been absorbed. Pour the remaining batter into a bowl, and soak the remaining bread slices in the batter. Place the soaked pieces on top of the jelly and cream cheese topped slices. Sprinkle the top with the almonds, brush the tops with melted butter, sprinkle the top with the granulated sugar, and bake for 45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and delicious.