Ham & Gruyere Strata with Fresh Peaches
Easy to prep in advance for a morning breakfast or brunch, a strata is a simple one-dish savory bread pudding of sorts. The salty flavors of the ham, richness of the cheese and sweetness of the fresh peaches combine to make this one incredibly satisfying dish. Pair it with a simple salad for a perfect brunch menu.Serves 8-10
6 cups cubed day-old bread, with crust
10 large eggs
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 cups diced ham
2 cups fresh peaches, washed, pitted and chopped into chunks
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for pan
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cubes of bread on a baking sheet and place on the center rack of the oven to toast for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
In a skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until they soften and brown, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add cubes of dried bread, ham and peaches. Toss lightly to combine. Whisk together in a separate bowl eggs, milk, cream, mustard, sugar and seasonings until combined. Add sautéed onion and 1 ½ cups of cheese to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer wet ingredients to the bowl with bread, ham and peaches. Toss together lightly to coat the bread.
Butter a 9-inch baking dish transfer the strata mixture to the pan. Place in the center rack of the oven. After 30 minutes, remove and top with remaining ½ cup of cheese. Return to oven and cook for approx. 30 minutes until cooked and lightly browned on top. You’ll know it is done when it puffs up and does not have any jiggle when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Note: to prepare in advance, seal dried bread cubes in a food storage bag and combine all remaining ingredients except peaches and the reserved ½ cup of cheese. Blend the bread, peaches and egg mixture together just before baking and follow instructions as noted above.