Savoury-and-sweet pear ham and gruyère strata
A strata is a layered casserole that features bread, eggs and cheese. It may also contain meat or vegetables.
- Butter for greasing pan
- 2½ cups (625 mL) half and half
- 6 large eggs
- ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest
- ½ tsp (2 mL) fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) pure maple syrup
- 10 cups (2.5 L) good-quality artisan bread, cut into 1½-inch (4 cm) cubes
- ⅓ lb. (150 g) best-quality ham, thinly sliced
- 2 ripe USA Pears, such as Red or Green Bartlett, cut into large cubes
- 1 cup (250 mL) (loose) grated gruyère cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly butter a 9- x 13-inch (3 L) baking dish or large casserole.
2. In a large bowl combine the half and half, eggs, salt, orange zest, thyme, and maple syrup and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the bread cubes (be sure not to use more than 10 cup/2.5 L or the strata will be too dry) and toss to combine.
3. Next, add the ham (tearing into smaller pieces if necessary), pears, and about half of the cheese. Toss once again to evenly distribute the ingredients.
4. Transfer the mixture and all of its liquid to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese (at this point the strata may be covered and refrigerated overnight).
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