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Strata deftly blends sausage, apple flavors

Strata deftly blends sausage, apple flavors

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Get a jump on a holiday breakfast with this simple, savory strata that can be prepared the night before and baked in the oven when you wake up.

Savory Sausage-Apple Strata

Start to finish: 9 1/2 hours (20 minutes active)

6 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

8-ounce loaf Italian peasant bread, cut in 1-inch thick slices

3 cups fully cooked, finely chopped spicy Italian sausage

3 crisp, sweet apples, cored and sliced into very thin rounds

2 1/2 cups grated Grana Padano cheese

Lightly butter a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and nutmeg. Soak each slice of bread in the custard until fully saturated. Arrange a third of the slices in the prepared baking dish.

Top the bread with half of the sausage, half of the apples, and 1 cup of the cheese. Layer another third of the bread over the fillings, then top with the remaining sausage, apples and 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining bread.

Pour any remaining custard over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens' "New Cookbook."

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