It’s been a while. How have you been? Me? Oh, thanks for asking. I’ve been pretty busy. Not much time to update, so I apologize. I hope this recipe makes up for my silence!
Today is Victoria Day here in Canada and that of course means we’re off work. Woo hoo! We had a hot sunny weekend where I live… too hot… can’t believe i said that… and I had my adorable husband working in the garden (my job was to supervise… I did that so well!) Today though, not so much. So I got up, and make coffee, which we had on the back patio under our new insanely large umbrella. Our daughter and her husband were coming over later in the morning and so we planned a ‘brunch’ for their arrival.
I made scones – yes – two different types. I also made a beautiful strata from the “Eat Clean” *cookbook. Funny though, a dear friend gave me an apron (which I wore) that declared “Will cook for shoes… lots and lots of shoes.” After a morning of baking/cooking – I see NO new shoes! The apron is obviously flawed!
So, the strata. Here we go. I’ve made several types of strata over the years but this was the first without any type of meat. It was nice, not too sweet, and very yummy. Strata as you know are prepared the night before and popped in the oven in the morning. This makes it a great dish to prepare, especially if you have young children at home – or just don’t want to make it in the morning!
Using a lasagna pan or something similar in size, coat it lightly with olive oil and set aside.
Start with 9 egg whites and 3 whole eggs. Whisk those together and add 2 cups skim milk, a pinch of ground pepper, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Whisk it all… and set it aside for now.
Next using yogurt cheese (I actually just used 1 cup plain no fat Greek yogurt) and 2 tbsp of fig jam – again I didn’t use fig, I used apricot – a very good quality jam (i.e. don’t use the light ones). mix those together and set that aside too. I know… lots of setting aside… I think that’s for those of us who have short attention spans. Do one thing and stop. Do one thing and stop. Yep. Um… where was I? Oh yes….
Next prepare the fruit – 2 cups fresh berries (Blueberries, sliced strawberries, blackberries, raspberries… whatever… rinsed and ‘picked over’) mix those with 1 tsp lemon juice. PLEASE use fresh lemon juice. It tastes better and it has nothing in it except lemon juice, cuz it comes straight from a lemon. duh. Ok, sermon over. and also add 2 Tbsp maple syrup – again, real not aunt Jemima’s… do I need to preach again? Set aside. Surprise!
Now, Layer bread… oops, forgot that. Okay – use 16 slices of sourdough bread, crusts removed. Now…. layer 8 slices in the bottom of a lasagna pan, making sure that all the empty spaces are filled in with bits of bread. Spoon dollops of the yogurt mixture on top using about 1/2 the mixture. Don’t spread it, leave it in dollops. Spoon 1/2 the berry mixture on top. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of slivered almonds. I didn’t have any slivered, so I chopped up some whole almonds – left them fairly chunky. Then repeat. So that means the other 8 slices of bread, dollops of the yogurt mixture, fruit mixture, and almonds. Then, whisk the egg mixture one more time and slowly pour over the entire beautiful berry creation you just made. Cover it and pop it in the fridge over night.
In the morning, uncover, and bake in a preheated over (350) for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it in the last ten minutes – if it’s browning up nicely and puffs up, it’s done. Let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. And then serve! SO yummy!!
I served it with some fresh fruit (orange slices, grapes, cherries, and whole strawberries) and yes the oven fresh scones as well!
With a fresh pot of coffee, and some flavoured sparkling water (Perrier with a slice of cucumber and 1/2 a strawberry dropped in), we had a delightful Victoria Day brunch on the patio.
Try it! Let me know what you think.