Pumpkin, Cranberry & Pecan Strata
One of the things I love about stratas is that they can be made the night before. And, since they take a while to bake, I can pop one into the oven and go out for a morning walk, and find breakfast ready when I get back, tasting like I’ve slaved away for hours, while the house smells amazing to everyone else just waking up.
This is a great Christmas morning, or brunch solution as it can be made in advance and requires minimal fuss. I initially came across this recipe on the Betty Crocker website.
Here’s my version:
7 c. bread – cut or broken into 1 inch cubes (day old french bread is ideal)
½ c. craisins OR 1 ¼ c. frozen whole cranberries
½ c. toasted chopped pecans**
3 c. milk
2 c. cooked and pureed pumpkin OR 1 can pumpkin (15 oz. not pumpkin pie mix)
2 T. orange peel (peel of two oranges grated)
1 T. grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
½ t. ground ginger
¼ t. ground nutmeg
½ c. brown sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
¾ t. salt
Maple syrup or vanilla yogurt for serving
Spray a 9” square baking dish with cooking spray and spread with half of the bread.
Sprinkle half of the cranberries, nuts, and ginger (fresh) over the bread, and repeat.
In a large bowl beat eggs, milk, pumpkin, orange peel, sugar, salt, spices and vanilla together.
Pour over bread and cover with plastic or a piece of foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours. (No longer than 24)
Heat over to 325* and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 – 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm topped with whipping cream, yogurt, and/or maple syrup.
8 generous servings
**Toast pecans in the microwave for 2.5 +/- minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then place in paper or plastic baggie and beat with a rolling pin.