Our friends Dan, Denise, Emma Jo and Lucy were coming for brunch yesterday and we wanted to make something special for their visit. We have a recipe for a Stuffed Raspberry French Toast Strata from the Harbor Breeze Inn and Gardens – a great B&B on Cape Cod – that I decided to pull out for the occasion.
The Harbor Breeze Inn has a special place in our hearts. Every summer for the last 20+ years my side of the family would vacation together in Harwich on the Cape. Depending on exactly who could make it that year we would rent a big house and the overflow would stay at the Harbor Breeze Inn. My folks would get a room at the B&B along with one or two of the adult couples, leaving the other adults to supervise all the kids back at the house. Breakfasts at the Harbor Breeze were especially nice. Sitting in their sun room enjoying homemade breads, French toast strata, fresh fruits, cereals, coffee and tea while catching up with my parents was always a great part of the vacation if you were lucky enough that year to not be on “house duty”. My parents have since passed away and we no longer need the rooms at the B&B, but making their strata recipe bought back a flood of great memories.
One thing I love about a strata is that you make it the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning then all you need to do is pop it in the oven and set the table. We finished off the breakfast in Harbor Breeze style with fresh fruit along with yogurt and granola parfaits, the latter of which the girls helped to make. Was like a bit of summer on the Cape in mid-winter.
Harbor Breeze Inn Stuffed Raspberry French Toast Strata
- 1 1-pound loaf of unsliced French Bread
- 1 8-oz package of cream cheese, cubed
- 8 eggs
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ¾ – 1 cup raspberry preserves
- Cut bread into 1″ cubes
- Grease a 13×9 baking pan
- Place half the bread cubes into the pan
- Top with cream cheese cubes and dollops of raspberry preserves
- Top this with the remaining bread cubes
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, milk and brown sugar until well blended
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread cubes
- Press down the layers with a spatula, ensuring all the bread is moistened
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
- Bake in a 325 F oven for 35-40 minutes until the center sets and the edges are golden brown
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving