Maple and bacon are a classic pairing and this recipe doesn’t skimp on either. Because the strata needs to chill overnight before baking, it’s a perfect make-ahead breakfast dish for Christmas morning. Just pop it in the oven while everyone’s opening their presents and it’ll be ready to serve once ribbons and wrapping have been tossed aside.
Yield: 8 servings
½ pound bacon, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices (each 1 inch thick) sweet Portuguese bread or challah, lightly toasted and cut into thirds
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
⅔ cup chopped pistachio nuts
Grease a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside.
Cook the bacon pieces in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until they are crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Whisk together the cream, milk, maple syrup, eggs, mustard, sage, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Lay half of the bread in the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle it with half of the bacon, half of the cheese, and half of the nuts. Continue layering with the remaining ingredients.
Pour the egg mixture over the layers, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Uncover the dish and bake for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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