Berry Strata

I thought it was about time to share something sweet.  For some reason bread pudding has been on my mind lately.  I don’t know if it’s the cold weather this past week or the fact that I secretly coveted the bread pudding that friends ordered at Ellerbe.  Regardless, I had never made bread pudding and I thought it was about time.

Berry Strata is very similar to bread pudding.  I can’t really tell you the difference between them, other than stratas are normally associated with Italian cooking and the name just sounds better, honestly.  This recipe is from Giada’s Kitchen.  This is the first recipe I have tried from this cookbook, and it definitely will not be the last.  I really loved the way this dessert turned out.  I think it would make an equally impressive brunch dish, alongside a little maple syrup.. mmmmm.  Plus with the time lapse between making the strata and baking it, it’s a perfect get-out-of-bed-and-put-it-in-the-oven type of recipe.  A way to wow your guests or significant other while still being able to get your beauty sleep.  On with it.

:: You will need ::

2 tbsp. unsalted butter (1/4 stick)

3 tbsp. honey

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

4 cups of bread, torn into 1-inch pieces

10 oz. bag of frozen mixed berries, thawed and drained

:: Let’s get going ::

(1) Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Turn off the heat, add the honey, and stir to combine.

(2) Combine the eggs, ricotta, and sugar in a large bowl.  Using a whisk, mix to combine and beat the eggs.

(3) Add the milk, orange juice, butter and honey mixture, and bread.  Stir with a spoon to combine.  Make sure to drain the berries and then gently fold them into the mixture.

(4) Pour the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

(5) Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Bake the strata until golden brown on top and baked through, about 40 minutes.  Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Printable version.

Printable version with picture.

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