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Rosemary pain perdu with sauteed apples, Chantilly cream and Armagnac caramel sauce

Rosemary pain perdu with sauteed apples, Chantilly cream and Armagnac caramel sauce
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Oscar Wilde once wrote, "the only immortality I desire is to invent a new sauce." It was a characteristically pithy statement that could very easily have been uttered by Antonin Careme as well. But as Careme -- who didn't invent ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided (keep 1 cup very cold)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 slices day-old rosemary bread, cut into slices about 3/4 -inch thick and into rounds about 3 1/2 inches wide
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ( 1/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4 -inch wide (use a tart, firm apple such as Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, Fuji, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup Armagnac caramel sauce, warmed if necessary (see variations)
  • Fresh rosemary leaves for garnish

Step 1In a wide bowl, whisk together the yolks, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of kosher salt. Place bread rounds into the custard, coating the slices. Let stand 30 minutes, turning over occasionally.

Step 2Meanwhile, make the Chantilly cream. In a standing mixer or with a whisk in a large bowl, whip the remaining cream (make sure it is cold), the remaining one-fourth teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.

Step 3In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When it foams up in a few minutes, add the apples, sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir to coat the apples and cook until the apples are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and reserve, keeping warm.

Step 4In a clean, large saute pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Wipe any excess custard from the rosemary bread and cook until golden on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. You can do all rounds at once or cook them in batches, depending on the size of your saute pan. Remove and blot on a paper towel.

Step 5Place one round of pain perdu on a plate, arrange one-fourth of the sauteed apples on top of the round, then add about a tablespoon of Chantilly cream on top. Spoon a tablespoon of caramel sauce around the pain perdu and sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Repeat for the other plates and serve immediately.

Note: Reserve extra caramel sauce and Chantilly cream for another use.


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