Ponchatoula Strawberry Pain Perdu with Whipped Cream Cheese, Toasted Pecans and Steen’s Cane Syrup

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Emeril’s Delmonico is having a special Mother’s Day brunch!  If you want to cook at home instead, here’s a delicious version of their Strawberry Pain Perdu.


Emeril’s Delmonico

Mother’s Day Hours: Brunch, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dinner, 6 – 9 p.m.

1300 St. Charles Ave.




by Emeril’s Delmonico

1 cup pecan halves

2 cups milk

4 eggs, well beaten

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Zest of one orange

8 tablespoons butter

8 slices stale French bread (approximately one inch thick)

Strawberry Compote, for serving, recipe follows

Whipped Cream Cheese, for serving, recipe follows

Steen’s Cane Syrup or your syrup of choice, for serving

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, roughly chop the pecans and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 200°F.

In a mixing bowl combine the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and orange zest and whisk well. Soak the French bread slices in this batter for about 5 minutes, turning once about halfway through time.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When the butter is bubbly, add four pieces of the soaked bread and cook until light golden brown on one side. Turn and cook until golden on the second side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining slices of bread, adding the remaining butter as necessary.

To serve, place two slices of the Pain Perdu on each plate, garnished with the Strawberry Compote, Whipped Cream Cheese, toasted pecans, and syrup to taste.

4 servings

Strawberry Compote

3 pints strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered depending upon size

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon

¼ teaspoon salt

Cook half of the strawberries in a saucepan over low heat with all the other ingredients. When strawberries have softened and formed a thick sauce, remove from heat and fold in the remaining strawberries.

Whipped cream cheese:

1 ounce Philadelphia cream cheese (room temperature)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Place all ingredients except cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip for approximately 30 seconds at medium speed until smooth and creamy. While continuing to whip, slowly add the heavy cream little by little until the cream cheese mixture is fluffy with firm peaks.