Vanilla-Infused Icewine Pain Perdu
My recipe as seen on Maple Syrup World. where you will find an exclusive 10% Off coupon code: MORETHANBURNTTOAST, valid for 20 orders on all their products
So perhaps it is the crocuses, the slightly warmer days, the lengthening hours of light that makes April a month that dreams are made of. Why not dream of starting your day off at a sidewalk cafe in Paris and watching the day go by. In France you won't find French Toast on the menu, just order Pain Perdu.
Spring won't let me stay in this condo any longer! I must get out and breath the air deeply again. That's when I turn to quick and easy dishes like French toast to start a sun-filled relaxing Sunday off to perfection. With it's caramelized buttery exterior and a custardy interior it makes for a sinful Sunday morning treat. As we follow the natural course from winter into spring, our bodies welcome transitional recipes like this one that warm us to the core and prepare us for a fresh start now that Spring has arrived!
There are two things that I miss about living in Southern Ontario...the kaleidoscope of autumn leaves on a Sunday drive or gentle hike through the countryside... and secondly the run of maple syrup in early Spring. Growing up in Southern Ontario the one thing that was constant was our annual trip to the sugar bush. There are few smells as sweet as the aromas coming from a rustic, wood-planked sugar house, with the one possible exception being this adult-inspired French toast I sometimes prepare on Sundays.
I seem to migrate back to Ontario every 5 years to visit my family so as an ode to Ontario with its rolling hills, multitude of lakes, world class cities and multicultural diversity I decided to relish in the rebirth of Spring and have French Toast.
Start with a good baguette sliced on the bias and dipped into a mixture of egg, whole milk, Icewine and vanilla. The slices are then pan-fried in butter and drizzled with a grown-up combination of Icewine and maple syrup and finally dusted with powdered sugar. If you don't have Icewine tthere is no reason you could not use a good quality very sweet dessert wine or late harvest wine.
Now it's time to go for a hike to wear off this carb-induced coma!!!
Addendum: I had several questions asking about Ice Wine which is the valley's most celebrated offering. Eiswein or Icewine was invented in Germany in 1794. Icewine is a rare dessert wine produced in the Okanagan and Niagara Regions from the juice of naturally frozen grapes that have been picked in the middle of a cold Canadian winter. This intense, gorgeous nectar is made by leaving grapes on the vine through a frost, after which they are promptly picked and pressed. They must be picked at temperatures at least -10ºC, with the grapes frozen on the vine and hand-picked in the middle of the cold Canadian night. Once picked, the grapes are pressed immediately while still frozen. Each frozen grape creates just one drop of ice wine. One smooth, rich luxurious drop. Imagine a kaleidoscope of peaches, nectarines, apricots, and honey. Its opulent flavours are balanced by crisp acidity. Among the dozens of types of dessert wines in the world, my absolute favorite is Icewine.
The world's leading producer of Icewine is Canada, followed by Germany and then Austria. Because of the concentrated taste, ice wine is one of the most elegant and refined dessert wines. I often fill a Bernard Callebaut chocolate cup with Icewine and dessert is simple and delicious. Because the wine is so intense, a typical serving is just one ounce.You'll probably pay more than $50 for a tall, skinny bottle of ice wine, but just about every Okanagan winery makes its own signature variety. Optimal weather conditions can never be assured, so true ice wine is a real treat. The cold blast of winter arrived early last year so it was a stellar year for production.
**Vanilla-Infused Icewine Pain Perdu**
(Recipe from the Inniskillin Winery Icewine book, Extreme Winemaking.)
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt butter.
3. Dip a few pieces of bread into the egg mixture, soaking both sides well, and place in the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly golden. Repeat with the remaining bread.
4. Mix maple syrup with Icewine.
5. Serve French toast dusted with icing sugar and drizzled with maple/Icewine mixture.
6. Serve with chilled Oak-aged Vidal or Sparkling Icewine.
You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 egg whites
- 3 tbsp Icewine
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 thick slices baguette, cut on a diagonal
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup Icewine
- Garnish icing sugar for dusting
1. Place the egg, egg whites, Icewine, and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the egg mixture. Add milk and whisk until frothy.