Temps de cuisson: 1 hour Portions: 4
4 cups bread, cut into 1/2" - 1" cubes
2/3 cup Sugar (1/3 cup for bread, 1/3 cup for creme anglais)
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cup Milk
3 cups berries - your choice: strawberries (cut into chunks), blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
1 1/2 cups half & half
3 egg yolks - for creme anglais
1 teaspoon bourbon or vanilla - for creme anglais
Night before: Whisk 3 eggs, milk, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add bread cubes, stir to mix. Stir occasionally so all bread can soak up egg mixture.
Morning: Preheat oven to 350. Butter 4 1-cup ramekins or 4 tea cups. Divide bread mixture among ramekins - do NOT pack down. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with creme anglais (below) & fresh fruit. Allow dish to cool a few minutes before serving.
Creme Anglais: In medium bowl, whisk 3 egg yolks & sugar until well blended. Heat half and half in saucepan until simmering (bubbles around edges) but NOT boiling. Slowly whisk hot half & half into egg mixture, then return all of it to the saucepan. Cook on medium low heat (do not boil), stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add bourbon or vanilla. May be made a day or two ahead of time. Cover & refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat gently - do not boil or microwave.
Presentation: Drizzle or "smear" a spoonful or two of creme anglais onto plate, then set ramekin in center. Add fruit on top of french toast and casually around the ramekin on the plate. Drizzle additional creme anglais over everything.
To make the presentation more interesting, you can puree a few of the berries, strain them & drizzle or smear some puree on the plate with the creme anglais before setting the ramekin on top.
A dusting of powdered sugar also looks good.