Martha Len Nelson: Prep pear strata for breakfast to savor

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It’s back-to-school time, with no time left for leisurely breakfasts. Today’s recipe comes from Bonnie Bassett, a friend who cooks and eats healthily and can still do “the splits” just as easily as she did in high school!

Prepare this Cinnamon-Swirl Pear Strata the night before and pop it in the oven as the family gets ready for the day, or better yet, bake it in advance, then reheat it piece by piece in the microwave as needed.

Bonnie served it for brunch.The recipe suggests drizzling the strata with maple syrup, but Bonnie’s was good without it.

The recipe calls for turbinado sugar, which is a coarsely ground, less processed sugar. It can be found in health food stores and many grocery stores.


Cinnamon-Swirl Pear Strata

•  4 cups peeled and thinly sliced pears (Anjou or Concorde, if possible)

•  2 teaspoons butter, melted

•  6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use

•  12 slices cinnamon swirl bread (such as Pepperidge Farm), cut in half diagonally

•  cooking spray

•  1 cup (4 ounces) Gruyere cheese, shredded

•  1 1/2 cups low-fat milk

•  1 cup egg substitute

•  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

•  1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

•  1/2 cup maple syrup (optional)

Combine pear slices, butter and one tablespoon sugar in a large bowl; toss gently.

Arrange half the bread in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon pear mixture evenly over bread; top evenly with cheese. Place remaining bread over cheese.

Combine the remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, the milk, egg substitute and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Pour milk mixture over bread, pressing down to submerge.

Cover and chill at least eight hours, or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover dish. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over bread.

Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes (or longer).

Makes six to 12 servings, depending on how you want to cut it. Drizzle with syrup, if desired.

Nutritional facts: Calories, 355; fat, 10 grams; protein, 13.1 grams; carbohydrates, 55.1 grams; fiber, 5.3 grams; cholesterol, 20 mg; iron, 1.6 mg; sodium, 295mg; calcium, 216mg.

MARTHA LEN NELSON can be contacted at 940-382-9597 or e-mail .


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