Essentially a German version of french toast, arme ritter is made in basically the same way. With updated takes on a recipe that dates back to fourteenth century Germany, stale rolls or slices of white bread are soaked in a mixture of milk and beaten eggs, sometimes coated in breadcrumbs and then cooked in clarified butter until crisp and golden. Served warm for either breakfast or dessert, arme ritter can be found with a variety of toppings and even fillings. Common toppings for arme ritter are cinnamon-sugar, vanilla sauce or sweetened raspberry puree. Although it’s not as common, arme ritter can also be found with savory flavors like mixed herbs or served with ham and melted cheese.
Sometimes, particularly in Altbayern and Austria, arme ritter goes by the name of pavesen or zwetschgenpavesen, in which case plum compote is sandwiched between two pieces of bread prior to cooking. One of the more obscure variations of arme ritter is versoffene jungfern, meaning the drunken virgin, which is served in a bath of mulled red wine. Versoffene jungfern made with arme ritter is a simplified take on a traditional winter dessert that’s called by the same name but consists of homemade dough fritters soaked in mulled cider or wine. Despite this dishes familiarity, we think it’s definitely worth giving arme ritter a try, particularly if you have the opportunity to enjoy one of the more unusual varieties.