Think of this as stuffed French toast in a casserole. Here, sweet cinnamon bread meets juicy pears and the savory bite of Gruyère cheese. You want a pear variety that will hold its shape and won't exude too much moisture as the strata bakes--we liked Anjou and Concorde.
4 cups sliced peeled Anjou or Concorde pear
2 teaspoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
12 (1-ounce) slices cinnamon swirl bread (such as Pepperidge Farm), cut in half diagonally
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup egg substitute
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
How to Make It
Combine pear, butter, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl; toss gently.
Arrange half of bread in an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon pear mixture evenly over bread; top evenly with cheese. Arrange remaining bread over cheese.
Combine the remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, milk, egg substitute, and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Pour milk mixture over bread, pressing down to submerge. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover dish. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over bread. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into 8 equal pieces; drizzle with syrup.
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