Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu – perfectly decadent French toast using leftover hot cross buns for your Easter brunch. Top it with fresh berries, syrup and cream.
Easter crept up on me this year. It hovered somewhere off my radar, overshadowed by our spring break trip to London and all the tasks that come with settling back after some time away. All of a sudden, I realized that I had prepared nothing, egg dying became a hurried affair, and I scrambled to figure out our Easter menu.
The Easter menu dilemma solved itself fairly quickly. “Prime rib?” my husband suggested — or perhaps reminded is the better choice of words, since it has been our tradition many Easters running. So that was that.
But what about hot cross buns? Not enough time, I thought, but no problem, I’ll just pick some up at the bakery when I get the prime rib from the butcher.
“Sold out,” said the lady behind the counter. “Come back tomorrow,” she consoled.
“Easter morning?” My heart sank. “Thank you, but I’ll just make my own.”
And so I did.
Honestly, I’m glad it worked out this way. Working on the dough was something I was able to squeeze in between baseball games and music lessons, and that evening, between sips of wine, I was forming the rolls for some early morning baking. All the baking made it feel festive!
The aroma of the hot cross buns was intoxicating on Easter morning, but I had ulterior motives for baking the buns in the first place. Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu was the ultimate goal – a decadent french toast made with light and fluffy thrice-risen buns (I promise to share this recipe with you in the future), in an orange and vanilla scented buttermilk bath, topped with sweetened berries and a drizzle of custardy yogurt or cream. Because for me, brunch can never be an afterthought, especially on a holiday.
Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu
- 2 cups fresh mixed berries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 large eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 4 hot cross buns halved lengthwise (about 3/4 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- syrup for serving
- powdered sugar for serving
- clotted cream yogurt or whipped cream, for serving
- In a small bowl toss together the berries, sugar, and water, and set aside to rest.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Dip the hot cross buns in the batter and coat on both sides.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Melt one tablespoon of butter and spread to coat the pan. Add slices of the prepared hot cross buns and brown on each side. Continue with the remaining slices. Serve immediately with berries, a drizzle of syrup, powdered sugar and cream.