Raspberry French Toast Strata is tangy raspberries and sweet cream custard stuffed into light and airy French toast, all baked in one dish. The best thing in the world to wake up to.
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One of the best brunch dishes around has got to be the strata. Call it what you will, bread pudding, breakfast casserole, baked French toast. It goes by many names, and comes in almost a million variations (I counted).
My raspberries and cream version here has always struck me as kind of a lady-like breakfast strata. It's sweet, I think it's pretty, it has pink berries and a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar to make it nice. I envision it being served at showers, ladies brunches, spring holiday occasions and such. All very lady-like wouldn't you say?
For certain this does not need to be ladies only! I've seen many a manly man reach for seconds.
Besides being overwhelmingly delicious, one of the loveliest things about this breakfast dish is that it can be made ahead. I love make-ahead breakfasts that you just have to throw in the oven before you jump in the shower! Like my World's Best Bran Muffins, that can be baked fresh every day.
Once you assemble this french toast strata, you let it chill for 4 hours or overnight! Bake it in the morning or just before you take it to brunch. Letting it sit allows the bread to absorb all the egg custard so that it bakes without any dry spots.
Raspberry French Toast Strata just for the ladies? No, way, I've seen many a manly man reach for seconds!
I also adore the little burst of sweet cream cheese that get dolloped throughout. Just a typical sweet custard is delicious, but those little bursts take it up a notch. You can see them here.
Simply sprinkle the finished strata with confectioners' sugar just before serving. I like to serve this slightly warm so the custard is not totally set. It gives it a little sauciness. And don't we all need a little more sauciness in our day?
- 5 eggs beaten
- 1½ cups milk
- 7 tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 oz cream cheese
- Butter for Dish
- ¾ loaf (15 oz) brioche or challah thinly sliced and quartered
- 2 pints raspberries
- Confectioners' sugar
Mix together the eggs, milk and 4 tbsp sugar. In another bowl combine cream cheese with 1 tbsp sugar. Butter a 2½-quart baking dish.
Quickly dip half of the brioche slices into the egg mixture and arrange them in a slightly overlapping layer on the bottom of the dish. Top with bits of half the ream cheese and half the raspberries. Repeat with remaining brioche, cream cheese and raspberries. Pour remaining egg mixture over the top and sprinkle entire dish with 2 tbsp sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hr or up to 24 hr.
Heat oven to 350ºF. Remove plastic wrap and bake strata until eggs are set and top is golden, about 55 min; cover with foil if top gets too brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.
Make this the night before to save time in the morning.
Love French Toast? For a party or feeding cute little kids, try my Oven Baked French Toast Fondue skewers. They are most delicious and fun to eat.
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Recipe by Tara. Photographer Yunhee Kim. Food Stylist Paul Grimes. Prop Stylist Michelle Wong. Originally published in LHJ 04