Apple Cheddar Bacon Breakfast Strata

Serving Size: 6

This eggy, fruity, cheesy, bacony strata melts in your mouth. It's perfect for breakfast, brunch or anytime you feel like it because it’s utter perfection when baked, refrigerated and microwaved.

Ingredients

  • Butter or bacon fat, for the pan
  • 1 Pound thick-cut bacon, cooked to moderately crispy and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 9 Ounce aged white cheddar, shredded
  • 0.75 Pound honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 0.75 Pound (a med-sized loaf) rustic bread, day-old, sliced
  • 2 tsp Dijon or 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire, optional
  • Generous pinch of pepper
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3.5 Pound gouda (not smoked), shredded

Directions

  1. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with bacon fat or butter; set aside. Place the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, (Worcestershire), and mustard into a mixing bowl or pitcher and mix it thoroughly; set aside. Next, create three layers in the following manner:
  2. Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of bread. Make sure to leave no gaps in the layer, tearing off small pieces of bread or crumbling some of it into crumbs as necessary, to fill them in. Pour just enough of the egg mixture over the bread to moisten all of it. Distribute half the apples over the eggy bread. Cover that with half the cheddar, then a third of the rosemary, and then half the bacon.
  3. Lay down another layer of bread. Take an opportunity to push down on the whole thing, to compress it somewhat, and to help ensure that it’s level. Pour enough of the egg mixture over the bread to moisten all of it thoroughly. Then build the rest of the layer: the rest of the apples, all the gouda, another third of the rosemary, and the rest of the bacon.
  4. Top it off with another layer of bread. Press down again. Pour the remainder of the egg mixture over the bread. Cover that with the remaining rosemary and cheddar.
  5. Cover tightly with foil. Place it in the refrigerator overnight (or see options).
  6. The next morning, pop it into a preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 25 minutes, or until the top has browned. Remove from the oven and let rest until cold (or see options).
  7. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. The next day, whenever you’re hungry, cut the strata into six pieces, and microwave each piece for 2 minutes with full-on nuclear power.

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