Pain perdu with raspberries and ricotta

Pain perdu literally means “lost bread” in French. As in the bread which you cannot eat while french and becomes stale. Probably during Roman times, a resourceful cook realized that if the bread was softened by dipping it in milk and/or  eggs and then fried, it could be converted it into a delicious dish apt for all tastes. I grew up in Portugal eating it, as fatias douradas [golden slices] over Christmas, generously sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. When I moved to Spain, I learnt their name was in fact torrijas and it would make its appearance later down the year during Lent. I am pretty sure if I bring this topic up in the office,  Swiss and the Germans would claim to have their own variety of the dish. But, that belongs to another post…  To close the debate, it might be worthwhile mentioning there is a considerable difference between fatias douradas, torrijas and pain perdu. The iberian varieties are deep fried, while the French opt for browning them with butter.

In any case, when I found an ancient  panettone in the back of the cupboard, I remembered this recipe I had seen ages ago in a Gordon Ramsay’s book. It also had been a while ever since I used this book, and in fact, I even had a perfect group of [s]suffering guests[/s] testers coming home for brunch. Perfect occasion, perfect ingredients, perfect guests…  As every Gordon’s recipe, if you follow the instructions to the letter, you will get exactly what you are supposed to get. Probably due to the differences in the ingredients,  the raspberry mix got a bit messy, but nothing a pair of experienced hands couldn’t fix to the right consistency and taste. All in all, in almost less time than it took to cook it, not only I managed to get rid of old panettone but also had a very happy and satisfied crowd. Definitely calories worthwhile taking.

Pain perdu with raspberries and ricotta (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food: Recipes from The F Word)

Ingredients

  • 125g ricotta cheese drained
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 200g raspberries
  • 25g butter
  • 4 slices of panettone 
  • 3 large eggs beaten

Method

1. Put the ricotta, mascarpone, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and mix until it is smooth. Fold half the raspberries and mix softly.

2. Put 1 slice of panettone in the egg mix and let it soak for a couple of minutes.

3. Fry the slice on both sides until golden brown (about a couple of minutes). Take it out of the pan and put it in a serving plate.

4. Repeat (2-4).

5. Put a generous spoon of the raspberry mix on top of the warm slices of fried panettone, and finish with the remaining raspberries.

6. Serve.

2. Melt the butter in a non stick pan until it begins to foam.

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