Pain Perdu with Butterscotch Apricots

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Pain Perdu with Butterscotch Apricots

Pain Perdu with Butterscotch Apricots

There are many variations of this simple recipe, also known as poor knight’s pudding, French toast or simply eggy bread. This sophisticated version used a custard infused with Apricot Brandy. Taken from How To Cook Desserts.


Serves 4

For the butterscotch apricots
85g unsalted butter
85g soft light brown sugar
6 ripe apricots
2 tbsp apricot brandy
75ml double cream

For the custard
1 large egg, plus 1 extra yolk
50g soft light brown sugar
150ml whole milk
1 tbsp apricot brandy (optional)

To assemble
4 slices of day-old brioche or white bread, cut 2.5cm thick
50g unsalted butter
Caster sugar, to sprinkle


  1. To make the butterscotch sauce, put the butter and sugar in a wide, shallow frying pan large enough to hold the apricots (once halved) in a single layer. Place the pan over a low heat and once the butter has started to melt, stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Cut the apricots in half and remove the stones. Place cut side down in the pan and cook gently, basting occasionally with the hot butter mixture, until just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife; about 5 minutes depending on their ripeness.
  3. Increase the heat to medium, pour in the apricot brandy and cook for a further minute, or until the apricots are just beginning to caramelise a little around the edges. Carefully pour in the cream, (it will splutter) and bring to the boil. Turn the apricots in the hot sauce to coat them evenly, remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.
  4. To make the custard, put the egg, extra yolk and sugar into a medium bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon, to combine. Stir in the milk and apricot brandy. Strain the custard through a sieve into a large, shallow dish.
  5. Cut each slice of brioche into 2 triangles. Lay them in the dish, in a single layer, and leave to soak up the custard for 5 minutes, turning them over once or twice.
  6. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, when foaming, fry half the soaked brioche until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little caster sugar. Wipe the pan clean and repeat with the remaining butter and brioche.
  7. To serve, place 2 triangles of fried brioche attractively on each of 4 individual serving plates. Place 3 apricot halves on each serving and spoon over a little of the warm butterscotch sauce. Serve immediately.

This recipe could easily be adapted for a quick snack or impromptu Sunday brunch, by replacing the apricot brandy in the custard with fruit juice, and serving with a few fresh berries or a fruit compote in place of the rich butterscotch apricots.

Eliza Welsford

Author: Eliza Welsford

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