Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brilliant Brunch: Blueberry Pomegranate Strata

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Sometimes, cooking contests are just serendipitous.  When I went home for Fourth of July, my family packed a LOT into the weekend.  I went home for my adorable baby cousin's first birthday (a party that was 4 hours long, and the baby did not cry once!).  We saw fireworks, and I hit the fruit stand with Dad.  The blueberries were on sale 99 cents for a huge box. 

So, we bought 4; Dad and Mom have definitely taught me about a good deal!  When we got home, Mom was overwhelmed by blueberries and insisted I take a huge box home myself.  I'm never going to say no to delicious food (especially when free).  And, then I heard about the Blueberry Council's Make It! Blog It! Win It! Blogger Recipe Contest.

Too perfect to pass up.  When I got home, I started brainstorming exactly what I wanted to make.  I love blueberries and I couldn't think of a better way to eat them than in a delicious breakfast.  This strata also adds pomegranate-blueberry juice, which I just find to be delicious.  Blueberries and pomegranates both have so many antioxidants and health benefits that the combination was irresistable. 

Also irresistable was the ability to make a beautiful looking brunch the night before.  Bake it before company arrives, and they walk in to a delicious smelling house!  It's another recipe that people think you would be up all night making, but, lets you get some beauty sleep!
Blueberry Pomegranate Strata
Serves:  4 (a 6x9 glass baking dish full)
4 English Muffins (about 1 cup when cubed)
1 1/2 cups blueberries, divided
6 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup Pomegranate-Blueberry juice, divided
4 eggs
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup milk (skim)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 cup water

Cut the English Muffins in half, and then cube them (into about 20 pieces per English Muffin).  Toss 1 cup of blueberries with the cubes and then place the mixture into a greased 6x9 glass baking dish.  Cut cream cheese into 1-inch cubes and evenly disperse over the blueberry mixture.  In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of Pomegranate-Blueberry Juice, eggs, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoons of cinnamon, and milk.  Mix well.  Pour over the blueberry mixture and cover with tin foil.  Let sit overnight (at least 4 hours).  In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the dish (with tin foil) into the hot oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the tin foil and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until the middle is set and the top is golden brown.  Let cool about 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm with sauce.

To make the sauce, combine 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, water, and 1/2 cup of Pomegranate-Blueberry Juice in a saucepan.  Heat on medium-heat until the mixture comes to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Add the blueberries and turn the heat to low.  Cook about 3 minutes.  Serve over the strata.

A great tip is to make the sauce a day ahead of time as well.  Remove the saucepan from the heat after you add the blueberries and just heat it up a little the next day (either on the stove or microwave).  It's a delicious topping for the decadent strata, or a number of other things.  For example, the sauce is also delicious on ice cream (you know how I love my ice cream).

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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