Late one Sunday morning, I brought to the table a batch of croissants cooked pain perdu style, but filled with dark curls of speck and puddles of melted fontina. Deliciously crisp and golden, the cheese formed strings pizza-like and were gone in minutes. Other cheeses will work here, but a semi-hard, easy-to-grate cheese works best.
grain mustard 1 tablespoon
Croissants 4 big
speck or other air dried ham 8 thin slices
Set the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and lightly beat to combine the yolks and whites. Add mustard and milk.
Using a bread knife, cut the croissants in half horizontally, then dip into the egg and milk, pushing down so they are completely soaked. Place the bottom halves of each croissant side by side in a baking dish or roasting pan.
Grate the fontina. Divide the speck among the croissants, tearing as necessary, then sprinkle 25g cheese over each of the ham-covered halves. Replace the top halves back into place on each croissant, then spread over the remaining cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Nigel Slater is the Observer’s cookery writer.