Nothing beats the smell of freshly-baked French pastries, and they’re especially tempting first thing in the morning, with a cafetière of your favourite coffee. If you’re craving some of that boulangerie magic at breakfast time, we’ve got a quick and easy recipe for French favourite pain aux raisins that you can put together in your own kitchen at home.
Pain aux raisins are flat, spiral-shaped pastries with a filling of creamy custard and plump, juicy raisins and a sweet apricot glaze. These tasty breakfast bites are usually made from leavened butter pastry, like a croissant, but our simplified version uses pre-made puff pastry for a tender, flaky mouthful that takes a fraction of the time to prepare.
The name ‘pain aux raisins’ translates as ‘bread with raisins’, a combination that appears in numerous baked treats, from bread and butter pudding to hot cross buns. Raisins are one of the simplest ways to turn a bun or loaf into a sweet treat, and here at Fine Dining Lovers we have already brought you several raisin bread recipes, from bread rolls with raisins to a soft and squishy loaf of milk and raisin bread. French-speaking readers may also want to check out our recipe for petits pains aux raisins over at the French language section of the site.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
2 sheets, thawed
For the custard filling
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, vanilla, and lemon zest together in a glass bowl.
Add the milk to a small pan and heat on medium-low until it boils, then pour it over the egg yolk mixture and whisk everything together until smooth and creamy.
Pour the mixture through a strainer into the pan and cook over a low-medium heat until it begins to thicken and look like custard.
Add the butter and continue whisking until it melts, then remove from the heat. Pour the custard into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to cool to room temperature.
Once the custard has cooled you can begin to assemble the pastries. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F.
Lay your pastry sheets on a clean, flat surface, and spread half of the custard mixture onto each, then sprinkle the raisins over the top.
Roll the pastry sheet into a Swiss roll shape, then cut each one into 8 equal pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the pastries in a single layer on top, making sure none of them are touching. If necessary, cook them in two batches.
Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk well, then brush a little onto each pastry.
Put the pastries in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Place the apricot preserve and water in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir well.
Brush the apricot mixture onto the pastries while still warm, then leave them to cool slightly before serving.
If you like the fruity sweetness of raisins, you’ll love these other raisin-filled treats:
These melt-in-the-mouth raisin macarons are perfect served on the side of a cup of coffee, and make cute Christmas gifts for friends and neighbours.
Rich with pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, these tasty pumpkin raisin cookies have the flavours of fall in every bite.
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