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Pain Perdu with Caramelized Bananas and Rum-Raisin Sauce

  1. 3 cups milk
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 6 tablespoons of mild flavored honey, such as wildflower
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  5. Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated using a microplane
  6. 2 cinnamon sticks
  7. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  8. 1 loaf of stale bread (sourdough sandwich, raisin brioche or pain), sliced 3/4 inch thick
  9. Confectioners' sugar
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and honey. Add the vanilla bean and scrapings, orange zest and cinnamon sticks and let stand at room temperature.
  2. Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium low heat and melt the butter. Carefully dip each piece of bread into the soaking liquid and squeeze to soak thoroughly. Generously dust one side of the dipped bread with confectioners' sugar and place sugared-side down in the pan. The pan should sizzle; adjust the flame accordingly. Cook until the bread is medium to light brown and caramelized. Just before flipping, heavily dust the top of the bread with confectioners' sugar, then cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining bread. (Slices can be prepared up to 1 hour in advance.)
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