|This is a lot like a regular strata, except the meat has turned to fruit, and the shredded hard cheese has turned to chunks of cream cheese. The bread is the same as usual, making up the bottom layer. In this iteration, we used a pound of strawberries and about 0.75 pound raspberries, each split into two layers (or strata, if you prefer). Almost any kind of berry would probably work, so if you've got cherries, apricots, peaches, or whatever else coming ripe, toss those in, too!|
|A regular 9" x 13" pan will probably fit two layers each of bread and cream cheese/berries. This is going to be good! We seriously considered calling this month's version PolaWyle Strata, after the authors of the famous Christmas song The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but decided to be less creative at the last minute.|
|Once everything has mingled, it gets baked at 375 °F for 50-60 minutes. Are those graham cracker chunks on top? Yes, those are graham cracker chunks on the top. They replace the cornflakes in the regular strata recipe.|
10 slices of bread (at least)
16 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 lbs berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, etc. in any combination)
3 cups milk
0.25 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 cups graham cracker chunks, lightly crushed
Layer the bread, berries and cream cheese in a 9" x 13" pan, starting with bread and ending with cheese. Beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Pour over mixture and set in fridge for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight. Spread graham cracker chunks over top of the bread-berry-cream cheese layers. Bake at 375 °F for 50-60 min, until cream cheese chunks look a little like toasted marshmallows and center begins to set up.
What do you do with your eggs and berries this time of year? Have you made a similar strata recipe before? Let us know in the comments section below!