Oooh my first blog post for French Fridays with Dorie. How exciting! I’m new to the group so I’m a latecomer.. a very very late one. French Fridays with Dorie is a cook-along group where bloggers cook recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s French lovechild “Around My French Table”, and blog about it every Friday. They don’t post recipes though, only guidelines. They’ve been making people drool with their amazing photos since October 2010 and are already (more than?) halfway through the book. I’ve had the book since February last year and have cooked extensively from it. And I’ve only joined the group last Wednesday. What is wrong with me???!!
Enough lounging by the pool of regrets. My first FFwD post also celebrates my first dessert post (yayy!). I don’t cook desserts much because I feel they can be quite intimidating (let’s just say my last attempt to bake a cake involved fanning out smoke out of my kitchen window). My husband also has a savoury palate and doesn’t care much for dessert. But every once in a while, we do love a good sweet dish to finish our meal. And also every once in a blue moon, the constellations align and my batter is willing to cooperate with me, magically transforming itself into a moist cake/pudding. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it hits the home run. This recipe from Dorie is exactly that. Simple, quick to assemble and so so good.
Coupétade is a rustic dessert from Lozere – a region in the Southeast of France. It’s basically pain perdu, drowned in vanilla custard and then cooked low and slow in a water bath in the oven. I had a stale country loaf that was desperate to be used, so I went with that. I studded my pain perdu with dried apricots and golden raisins. I also spiked my custard with Grand Marnier and reduced the amount of sugar a tiny bit. Assembling all this was really quick because I only made a third of the recipe. The only trouble I had was keeping my bread submerged in the custard. I had enough custard for my pain perdu, but the bread kept resurfacing. Oh well, off it went anyway into the oven at 160C (325F). After 1h30, the chopstick I stuck inside came out clean. The coupétade itself came out golden and smelled a-ma-zing. I dusted the top with powdered sugar and served it chilled with some strawberry jam and marmalade (not shown in picture).
We had this after dinner and my husband loved it, and I’m telling you he is one tough cookie when it comes to dessert. We also had it for breakfast this morning – perfect. I can already think of many variations for next time: rose water, cinnamon & ginger, orange blossom syrup, kahlua and espresso… endless really. I can’t wait to see what the others have come up with.
Coupétade (in 5 steps)
- Make some French toast. Any bread will do here, although brioche is particularly nice. Stale is fine.
- Make the custard: Mix together eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Spike it with some alcohol if you’re feeling naughty.
- In a casserole large enough to handle your toasts, stack your French toasts with some dried/real fruits. Pour the custard over it.
- Bake in the oven at 160C (325F) in a water bath until the custard has set. Around 1h30.
- Serve warm or chilled, with syrup or jam, for breakfast or dessert.
Get the full recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table”.
- Dorie Greenspan’s book: “Around My French Table”
- French Fridays with Dorie
- Amazon page for Dorie’s book