10 April 2011

Vanilla-Infused Icewine Pain Perdu

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 -10ÂșC, 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.)

 
  • 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.

 
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.
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33 comments:

  1. I have been making my chocolate pain perdu a lot lately! Hey, you are one of the winners of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese giveaway on my blog. Just email me with mailing info. Thanks!

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  2. I'm about to post a similar thing ;) to this pain perdu, a dessert that's most popular in Spain during Easter. I had to look up in Wikipedia what icewine was, I had never heard about it before! I love these simple dishes.

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  3. What an absolutely mouthwatering dish! I love that shot with the mixture going on top. I have yet to try IceWine, but I've been on the lookout for some. Lovely, Val =)

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  4. This has my mouthwatering! Looks extra special

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  5. look absolutely nice Val! lovely pictures! love strawberries! gloria

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  6. There's definitely something about warm weather that calls for more fun breakfasts than just oatmeal. This pain perdu sounds delicious!

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  7. Now that is a beautiful dish! I agree with you about Southern Ontario :)

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  8. I don't think I've ever tried Icewine, but I'm intrigued enough to look for it. This is definitely the perfect start for a lovely spring morning!

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  9. This recipe sounds AMAZING and I absolutely adore Icewine! Its sweet, honeyed deliciousness - YUM! I love any excuse to open a bottle:) I cannot wait to make this fabulous recipe - thank you for sharing it:)

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  10. We use grand mariner in our french toast, but that's a lot easier to find here!

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  11. Goprgeous - want it. Don't know ice wine. But anything from Canada always works.

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  12. Icewine? This is the first time seeing that ever in a recipe. Never even heard of it. What a great idea to add to the dish though.

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  13. What a fabulous treat! I've never had icewine...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  14. I'm still waiting for spring to hit NY. I think since the official start of spring we have had maybe 5 really pleasant spring days.

    I think this french toast would cheer me up a bit. My husband LOVES icewine. I think if I made this he would be thanking me for making it and thanking you for providing the recipe.

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  15. Thanks again for a lovely entry to WHB this week. The roundup post is now live.

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  16. I was turned on to Icewine from my daughter-in-law's sister who lives in Canada. I just loved it. Beautiful brunch Val.

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  17. I would have never though to use ice wine in French toast but I think it's brilliant! I can almost taste that maple syrup. What a special breakfast this would be.

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  18. I had not heard about icewine until recently and now I see a nice way of using it. Thanks for the informative post, Val. Have a great week.

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  19. What a special breakfast. A great idea for company that is coming next week!

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  20. Wow! That would be a wonderful start to a Sunday (or any day, but Sunday is best). I really need to do a nice breakfast.... Sit outside on a spring morning....
    And with ice wine!!!!!

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  21. I adore Eiswein, as we say in Germany, since it such a wonderful incredible treat. However, I would have never thought about cooking with it and this looks and sounds delectable. Infusing the maple syrup with the ice wine is pure genius!

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  22. Great shot of the shower of icing sugar!

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  23. Ice wine in French toast? Why not? What a perfectly delicious way to start a Sunday out and about.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  24. Val that looks soooo good! LOVE the photos.

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  25. excellent action shot, and wonderful recipe. this is classy yet doable and really, really appealing!

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  26. I really miss this time of the year in the north. This kind of food is so spring-y and comforting. So delicious!

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  27. What a lovely way to enjoy a weekend breakfast or brunch. Val, this sounds delicious and much better than standard Sunday fare. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  28. Spring lasted only about two weeks this year where I live, darn it, and then pushed straight on to summer. That said, I could very happily spend a lazy Sunday morning breakfast with your delicious-sounding pain perdu, our local harvest strawberries, and a great cup of coffee. Ice wine, which I've never tasted, sound so intriguing!

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  29. Just yum! Next time you visit Ontario, I hope we can meet. It would be so fun to cook with you.

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  30. Wow - it looks and sounds fantastic.

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  31. Oh That looks like a wonderful treat!

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  32. Wow, you have totally taken french toast to another level, this looks positively delicious and would make such a decadent treat.
    *kisses* HH

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  33. I'm not familiar with this bread Val, but it sounds wonderful and yes, I agree, it would awesome to sit in a Parisian cafe, especially outside, in the spring!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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