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I've copied (and varied) a few breakfast strata recipes and french toast casseroles over the years with berries, meat, and cheese but never tried with one of my childhood favorites...Peanut Butter and Banana until recently. Boy is it good...but not for the calorie counters! It is so decadent that I feel as if any added syrup or powdered sugar just takes it right over the top.
- 8 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup cream
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 12 slices bread, dried french loaf preferably cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 (16 ounce) jar peanut butter, preferably crunchy
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into tiny squares
- Make "Peanut Butter and Banana" Sandwiches with the bread, peanut Butter, and bananas. Place in a 9x9 inch baking dish. Don't be afraid to cut in half or crunch together to make them fit in all areas of the pan. Sprinkle mixture with the toasted walnuts and butter chunks.
- Place softened Mascarpone cheese in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Add egg mixture to to the cheese mixture in small scoops. Whisk well after each scoop. This will help incorporate the cheese with the eggs to build a smooth custard. Repeat this process until all ingredients are incorporated and a thick pretty custard is the result.
- Pour the custard over the Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches. Press a bit to ensure that all pieces of bread are covered. Refrigerate for a few hours or up to overnight to ensure the flavors melt together.
- You can also freeze this mixture for a future purposes sealed well in foil and plastic.
- Bake mixture (thawed) at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (or until custard is set and top is browned). I like to keep it covered in foil for the first 30 minutes and remove the foil at the end to allow the top to brown.
- Serve with -- well -- whatever you want! I'm not a big fan of super sweet breakfasts, so I will eat this plain. My friends and family will sprinkle powdered sugar or add butter & maple syrup.