Serves a Crowd

Pain Perdu by way of Bananas Foster

May 18, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

Pain Perdu means "lost bread." In New Orleans it refers to the bread that would be thrown away, or lost. New Orleans French bread has a light crispy crust and a soft airy interior, making it perfect for pain perdu. But baguettes, brioche, challah and Italian bread work, too--you just have to make sure the bread is very dry (pre-toasting it in the oven if necessary) so it absorbs as much of the custard as possible. It's traditionally served with a simple sprinkling of confectioner's sugar, but this time I made it with a sauce of bananas browned in butter with brown sugar and pecans--a play on Bananas Foster, a dessert made popular by Brennan's in New Orleans. - drbabs —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

My family thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. I ended up quadrupling the recipe to make an ample amount for all the hungry eaters. The only ingredients that I didn't quadruple were the vanilla and the salt. I added a bit more, but not 4X. The directions were fairly straightforward and I appreciated being able to make the batter ahead. The Pain Perdu puffed up as promised in the oven and resulted in a nice crunchy exterior with soft/smooshy interior. I omitted the alcohol but might try it again adding it in. The banana/pecan sauce is swoon worthy! The nutmeg is a perfect flavor enhancer and makes all the other tastes/textures come together. This is a keeper and will be added to my easy/entertaining file! - sticksnscones —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Pain Perdu
  • 2 slices stale French (or other--see above) bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (or half-and-half or cream)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Banana-Pecan Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 banana, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons water or dark rum--or a mixture of both
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • a sprinkle (or shower) of fresh nutmeg
  1. Pain Perdu
  2. Whisk together milk, egg yolk, vanilla extract, salt and honey until completely blended.
  3. Let bread soak in custard, turning it and pressing down on it as necessary, so that as much of the custard as possible is absorbed by the bread.
  4. Preheat oven to 300. Heat butter in small skillet until sizzling. Brown the bread well on both sides. (Do not wash the skillet.) Place bread in a baking dish (or the dish in which you will serve the pain perdu if it's oven proof) and place into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes--until bread is cooked through and slightly puffy.
  1. Banana-Pecan Sauce
  2. Add a tablespoon of butter to the lovely browned butter that is left in the skillet after browning the bread. Briefly saute (over low-medium heat) the banana slices so that they are coated with browned butter. Sprinkle over the brown sugar, salt and pour in the water or rum. Raise heat slightly, and stir, being careful not to mush up the bananas, until the sauce reduces and becomes syrupy.
  3. Remove bread from oven, Spoon bananas over bread, and pour over remaining sauce. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and shower with freshly grated nutmeg.
  4. Laissez les Bons Temps Roulez!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Oui, Chef
    Oui, Chef
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • testkitchenette
  • Lizthechef
  • drbabs

20 Reviews

Oui, C. May 23, 2010
Oohhhh....could there be anything more perfect than this combination of banana's foster and french toast? I'm thinking NOT! Perhaps a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting in the middle of it all?
drbabs May 23, 2010
It's not just for breakfast anymore!!
Kitchen B. May 21, 2010
I love bananas. pecans. rum and french toast! What can I say?
drbabs May 22, 2010
Thanks--also my favorites!
testkitchenette May 18, 2010
I wish I could make your "lost bread" find its way to's killing me to be able to smell the banana pecan sauce cooking in my head and not able to have any! This will be gracing my dessert table soon! Thanks drbabs for another fabulous recipe!
drbabs May 19, 2010
Thank you!
Lizthechef May 18, 2010
You are at it again - and we are still enjoying your artichoke tapinade. Way to switch gears!
drbabs May 19, 2010
Oh--I'm SO glad you liked it! (I won't tell pierino that you called it tapenade...)
drbabs May 18, 2010
Photo is of bread soaking in custard--I took more pictures but accidentally deleted them from the camera. (ARRGH!!)
drbabs May 18, 2010
Never mind--found them!!
AntoniaJames May 18, 2010
This definitely falls within the elite class of died-and-gone-to-heaven foods. The dark rum in the sauce is simply inspired. I think I need a though cycling workout just having read this one!! ;o)
drbabs May 18, 2010
Thanks so much---it is dauntingly fattening. I'm making vegetable soup for dinner tonight!
Waverly May 18, 2010
Holy cow.
drbabs May 18, 2010
yup. I had to hit the spin class hard after that this morning, but it was so worth it.
aargersi May 18, 2010
Yum. Major yum. If you ever make it down this way you're pretty much going to have to make this for us :-)
drbabs May 18, 2010
I so wish I could come down your way soon!
TasteFood May 18, 2010
drbabs May 18, 2010
:) Thanks!
mrslarkin May 18, 2010
This sounds over the top delicious!!!!
drbabs May 18, 2010