Blueberry Strata

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:
3 loaves French-style baguettes (whole wheat preferred)
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups blueberries
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups skim (fat free) milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
Blueberry Sauce (see below)
Almond Crumble (see below)

Directions:
  • Assemble the strata: Spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray. Cut half of the baguettes into small cubes and put in pan. Cut cream cheese into small dice or slices* and sprinkle over top of bread cubes. Top with all the blueberries. Cut remaining bread into small cubes and put on top of the blueberries. Gently push down on top of bread in pan with clean hands.
    *The cream cheese slices nicely if slightly thawed from frozen.
  • Make the custard: In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Beat until eggs fully incorporated into the milk and sugar is dissolved. Pour over bread cubes in pan. Push gently on bread to get all exposed to custard mixture. 
  • Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place on top of bread in pan to cover. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Take pan out of refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375F. Place pan with foil on in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes more. 
  • Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before cutting into squares for serving. Top with blueberry sauce and almond crumble.
Blueberry Sauce
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup water
sugar, to taste

Combine blueberries and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until blueberries start to burst. Add more water if necessary. Taste and adjust with sugar until desired sweetness level is reached (amount of sugar to use varies depending on how sweet the blueberries are). Strain through a sieve or run through a food mill. Spoon a small amount of sauce over each serving.

Almond Crumble
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 cup sliced almonds

Melt brown sugar and butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Stir in sliced almonds. When almonds are slightly brown, remove from heat. Sprinkle some on top of each serving.

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Kathryn Bundy Revised 30-July 2013