A jellyroll pan or large platter to set the soaked bread on before sautéing
A large skillet (cast iron is best)
A parchment lined baking pan or jellyroll pan to keep the pain perdu warm in the oven
Berries and Berry Sauce:
2 pounds (6 cups) mixed berries, divided, such as strawberries (hulled and sliced), raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. Note: Blackberries are not recommended for the sauce so set those aside to sprinkle on top.
2 tablespoons fruit preserves, honey or sugar (I used apricot preserves)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 day old French baguette, cut on a diagonal into 1-inch thick slices (14–16 slices), and if you forget to plan ahead, you can use a fresh baguette and it will still be delicious.
1 1/2 cups 2% Milk (whole milk is fine too)
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons honey (if it’s cold and stiff, warm it for a 5–10 seconds in the microwave before using)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter for sautéing
1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (non-fat is fine, too)
2 tablespoons of honey to mix with the yogurt or to drizzle on top, or both
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, slivered
Make the Berry Sauce: Set aside half the berries, including all the blackberries, if using. Put the rest of the berries (3 cups) in a medium saucepan with the preserves (or honey or sugar) and water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so. Stir in lemon juice. Serve as is or, to make a fine sauce, puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender or food processor). Pour through a fine sieve to strain out the seeds. You may need to stir and press on the berry sauce with a wooden spoon to push the liquids through the sieve. You will have about 1 1/2 cups of berry sauce. It will keep, covered in the fridge for 2 days. Bring to room temp or warm before using.
Prepare the Honeyed Yogurt: If making honeyed yogurt, whisk 2 tablespoons of honey with one cup of yogurt until creamy. Alternatively you can serve the yogurt plain and drizzle the honey on top.
Make the Pain Perdu: Preheat oven to 225ºF. Whisk milk, eggs, honey, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Arrange bread slices in a single layer in a shallow dish or a large glass baking dish. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Let it stand for 2 minutes. Flip bread with tongs and let it soak for 2 minutes longer. Transfer bread to baking pan or platter, to drain. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When butter starts to foam, add half the bread slices to the pan. Cook them for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to parchment lined pan and set in the oven to keep warm. Add the rest of the butter to the skillet and cook the rest of the bread.
To Serve: Divide the pain perdu onto plates, two slices per person. Drizzle with berry sauce. Sprinkle with fresh berries and fresh basil. Add a dollop (2 tablespoons or so) of yogurt. Drizzle everything with honey, if you like. Serve extra berry sauce on the side.
Keywords: French Toast, French style French Toast with berry sauce