Festive French Toast – Panettone Pain Perdu
Festive French toast is a great way to use up Panettone, the classic Italian fruit cake / bread from Milan. We always seem to have some left over Panettone after Christmas. We overdose on cake and biscuits, pretty much like everyone else. So my recipe today is a direct result of my last post and the feedback I got from friends on social media. One of the joys for me of food writing for me is the community of amazing people I’ve met and after my French Toast recipe I had a conversation with the talented Bryony Hill. Bryony, a painter, gardener, author and cookery writer was thinking of a Christmas eggy bread. The result of our conversation Panettone pain perdu.
What is Panettone?
Panettone is a delicious baked, light, enriched dough made with dried fruit, cherries and citrus peel. You can recognise the familiar cylindrical shape with a raised dome. The history of Panettone dates to Roman times and a honey sweetened bread. Panettone is enjoyed in Italian homes and communities around the world and across the countries of South America popularised by Italian immigrants after the second world war.
You can buy Panettone from good supermarkets and specialist Italian delicatessens. Traditionally you enjoy Panettone with hot coco or a liqueur like Amaretto. If you have left over Panettone, it also makes for a great Bread and butter pudding. If you want to try just substitute for the Hot Cross buns in my recipe here.
Making Perfect French Toast
The secret to making Pain perdu or eggy bread is to use slightly stale or dry bread which will soak up more of the egg and milk mixture. You can shallow fry in vegetable oil. However, I prefer butter and oil which adds more flavour. Using just butter increases the chance of the eggy bread burning. To make your children smile try you can use cutters to shape the bread.
Panettone Pain Perdu with Spiced Stewed Plums
- Non-stick Frying Pan
- 4 Slices Panettone thickly cut
- 2 large Free-range Eggs
- 120 ml Full fat Jersey milk
- Zest of half an Orange
- A pinch Nutmeg freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Jersey Butter
- A drizzle of Vegetable Oil
Spiced Stewed Plums
- 4 large Plums
- 50 grams Caster sugar
- Juice of 1 Orange
- Zest of half an Orange
- 3 cm Cinnamon Stick
- A pinch Ground Ginger
- 4 tablespoons Crème Fraiche
For the Spiced Stewed Plums
- Quarter the plums and remove the stones. Place in a small, heavy bottomed pan with the orange juice, zest, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, until soft.
- Add the sugar, cook for two more minutes, stirring continuously and then remove from the heat.
For the Panettone French Toast
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs, full-fat milk, orange zest and nutmeg. Add the Panettone slices and allow to soak for a few minutes. Turn over the Panettone and continue to soak.
- Heat a little of the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until it starts to foam.
- Carefully drain two slices of the eggy bread with a slotted spatula and transfer to the pan. Fry the bread for approximately three minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Remove and keep warm placed on kitchen paper, on a baking tray in a warm oven. Repeat the process and cook the remaining bread.
- Serve with spiced stewed plums and crème fraiche.