Banana & pecan French toast with vanilla verjus syrup & lardons

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Preparation info

  • For


    , although the syrup will make more than you need
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

This is the sweet version of French toast, or eggy bread as the British like to call it, and fair enough as that’s exactly what it is. In French it’s pain perdu, or lost bread - due to it using up stale bread that might otherwise be thrown out. You’ll see there’s also a savoury smoked fish French toast in this chapter too. We’ve had this version on the breakfast menu at The Providores almost since the day we opened our doors in August 2001 and I hate to think how many we have sold since then. If you don’t eat pork then serve it as it is, unadorned apart from the delicious vanilla verjus. This syrup will keep in the fridge for a month or more and the combination of sour verjus, sweet sugar and aromatic vanilla is unbeatable. Try it drizzled over breakfast pancakes or even roast stone fruit and ice cream - it’s fabulous. If you can’t find verjus there really aren’t too many alternatives, although you could use a mixture of sour apple juice and lemon juice.


  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 4 slices white sandwich bread, 1-2 days old, slightly stale
  • 12 toasted pecan nuts
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • 50 g butter
  • 20 ml (1 Tbsp + 1 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 100 g thickly sliced bacon lardons (slice rashers of bacon into lardons, or simply use sliced bacon instead)


Preheat oven to 180°C. Mash the banana with a fork, but keep it a little chunky. Spread this over two slices of bread and scatter the pecans on top. Put the other slices on top, as if you’re making a sandwich, and press them firmly together. Beat the egg quite briskly with the cream, milk and sesame seeds and then coat the sandwiches in this (it might be easier to do it one at a time). You want the bread to absorb all the eggy mixture, so keep turning them in it.

Place a frying-pan that’s large enough to hold both sandwiches at once over a moderate-high heat. Add the butter and cook until it stops sizzling then add the oil. Place the sandwiches in, drizzling over any eggy mix that hasn’t been absorbed and cook until golden. Carefully flip over, making sure the filling doesn’t come out, and cook on the other side until golden. Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking parchment and warm through for 3 minutes. Wipe excess fat from the pan, leaving a few teaspoons in, then add the lardons and cook over a moderate-high heat until they crisp up.

To Serve

Cut the French toast in half. Place on warmed plates and scatter with the lardons then drizzle with the vanilla verjus syrup.

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