Bread and butter pudding is a classic English dish, but the French have their own version too in pain perdu. Here Will Torrent combines the two in a pudding that’s simply shouting out for second helpings.
Words from the chef:
I hate throwing away food, especially the croissants we haven’t managed to eat on Sunday mornings! So if this happens, I put them in a pan with some custard and make a bread and butter pudding. The French have something resembling this with stale bread and a custard sauce (wonderfully entitled ‘pain perdu’, ie. ‘lost bread’) but it is closer to French toast as it is fried. I like
adding apples because they give such a wonderful texture and flavour but you could try it with pear and ginger instead. This also works really well with Italian pannetone at Christmas time.
Apple and Calvados croissant butter pudding
- 500 ml milk
- 500 ml double cream
- 1 vanilla bean split
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise
- 2 tablespoons Calvados liqueur
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 200 g sugar
- 2 croissants stale but not too stale
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 2 Braeburn apples
- 2 tbsp semi-dried apples chopped
- Large pie dish or baking pan well greased
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
- Put the milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla and Calvados in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Put the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl using an electric whisk and whisk until pale and fluffy.
- Slowly pour the boiled cream into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously until evenly incorporated.
- Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and discard the vanilla bean, cinnamon
- stick, star anise, and any bits of eggshell that may have accidentally crept in!
- Halve the croissants horizontally and brush the melted butter over them.
- Arrange them in the prepared pie dish or baking pan.
- Halve, core and roughly chop the fresh apples. Scatter these and the semi-dried apples over the croissants in the pan, then pour the custard over the top.
- Using a spatula, press down the croissants so that they start to soak up some of the lovely custard mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. It should still be a little runny in the middle.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream, or just some whipped cream flavoured with a little lemon and vanilla extract
Find more recipes in Will Torrent’s Patisserie at Home:
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Looking for more French-inspired recipes to try at home? Don’t forget to check out Taste of France Issue Four, where you can find this delicious Apple and Calvados croissant butter pudding recipe. And stay tuned for our upcoming issue – filled with even more culinary delights to explore!