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Recently, celebrity chef and cookbook author Eric Ripert dropped a post that shook food Instagram: a method for making ‘pain perdu’ (as the French call what we call French toast) attributed to his Gran Ma. This method, which others in the comments said reminded them of how their own French grandmothers also made the dish, does not call for soaking bread in any type of custard in advance – or even dirtying a mixing bowl. It’s barely even a recipe at all, more of an eyeballed approach.
I decided to try it out using vegan ingredients instead of the eggs, butter, and milk called for and I was so impressed. It’s basically instant French toast, and you can make yourself just a single slice without any food waste, making it ideal for singles and small households. Also all you have to wash up is the pan, one spoon, one plate, and one spatula, which I love.
How to Make Vegan Eric Ripert French Toast
This ‘recipe’ does not have specific measurements as the absorption of your bread will differ. That means it can work for any bread you ‘lost’ and want to give new life.
For each slice you’ll need:
- Stale bread of your choice
- About 1 tablespoon of unsalted plant butter such as the Miyoko’s Creamery European Style Cultured Unsalted Vegan Butter
- About 1/4 cup plant milk. You’ll want something with a higher fat content. I went with Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk because I like the creaminess and coconut flavor it imparts, but you can experiment with your favorite
- About 3 tablespoons of JUST Egg liquid
- About 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. (I use the Wholesome brand.)
What you’ll do:
Get your ingredients together (there’s no need to measure things out, just have them on hand) and put a pan over high heat.
While it heats, place your slice of bread on a plate. Pour some milk directly onto the bread, giving it time to absorb in before adding more. You’re looking to basically rehydrate and moisten the bread with the milk, but not flood it entirely. Next, take a couple spoonfuls of JUST Egg and smush it around on top of the moist bread. Again, you’re looking to get a thin layer across the main surface of the slice, but you don’t need to be precious about it. Finally, sprinkle a good amount of sugar onto the side of the bread you’ve been working on. This is going to form your crunchy caramelized crust on the outside, so give it a good pinch.
Drop a knob of the plant butter into the hot pan and allow it to liquify. Once good and melty, drop your slice of bread in, moistened and sugared side down to the pan. Allow it to cook for a few moments before doing anything else.
Once it starts to brown a bit on that side, apply milk, JUST Egg, and sugar to the naked side you have facing up in the pan. Once all three layers are ready and you can start to smell the sugar just caramelizing on the bottom, give it a flip. Cook for a few moments longer, looking for golden brown and a center that’s semi set.