French Custard Toast (Pain Perdu)


Love.  Food.  Hmmmmm….sometimes I believe they are one in the same.  That is especially the case with this French Custard Toast (or Pain Perdu).  It is the MOST amazing french toast I’ve ever eaten.  It is citrus-y, and custard-y, and it just makes me happy!

When I was growing up in a suburb of Chicago, my mom took me to a really special restaurant in Momence, Illinois, called Dionne’s French Country Restaurant.  That is where it all began…  I’ve ordered (and been disappointed by) french toast in many restaurants since then in my quest to taste this wonderfully decadent treat once again.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought my mom might have a copy of the recipe and she DID!  (Thanks, Mom, for requesting and saving it!).

Cooking for family and friends is my way of showing them how much I love them.  I like to find out what kinds of foods they enjoy, and then pull recipes from my files that might make my friends happy.  I knew that this was the recipe for The Nine Chicks’ Suncadia Weekend Getaway.  I hope they know how much I love them all!

French Custard Toast (Pain Perdu)
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Dionne’s French Country Restaurant
Serves: 8-10
Serve with syrup or honey. A couple of slices of Canadian Bacon and an orange slice make for a perfect breakfast.
  • 12 slices brioche bread, sliced to 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 4 eggs, beaten to blend
  • 4 cups half & half
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  1. Arrange bread slices in a single layer in two 9×13 baking dishes.
  2. Whisk eggs, cream, sugar, lemon peel, vanilla, salt, nutmeg and Grand Marnier in a large bowl until blended. Pour mixture over bread. Let soak for 5 minutes. Turn slices over. Cover dishes with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 300°F.
  4. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. oil on a griddle or in two large, heavy skillets over medium high heat. Add bread and fry, in batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Do not undercook or the inside will not be completely set.
  5. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm until all batches are complete.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
  7. Bon Appetit!



  1. cara says:

    here’ smy rating of this FAB dish 🙂

  2. cara says:

    These were fabulous Joy! The lemon and the Grand Marnier make the dish 🙂

  3. Mo Johnson says:

    I love the lemon in this recipe. Such a great brunch item!!!!

  4. Colleen Stromatt says:

    I could live on this!!!!

  5. Helen Oswald says:

    Looks great. We’ll have to try it down here in sunny (and warm) Panama. Nothing like spending the day in a bathing suit and alternating dips in the pool with walks on the beach. It’s a little slice of heaven!! Will try the French toast recipe. Thanks.

    Jim Oswald

    • JoyAldrich says:

      Hi, Jim! I’m so happy to hear you are lovin’ life down there in Panama. I’m jealous. Maybe you could make the French toast for Helen on Valentine’s Day? Breakfast in bed is the BEST! EnJOY!

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