Tuesday, September 4, 2012

make-ahead breakfast: berry-egg bake

Our new school year kicks off this week! So, I am adding a few new recipes to our make-ahead repertoire.  To keep things simple/manageable/doable, I like to have a few basic recipes that I am very comfortable making... and then I simply vary the ingredients to give my family variety. Last September, I added a baked oatmeal into the rotation of deliciousness, and this summer I have mastered a sweet baked berry-egg dish that we absolutely love. This breakfast takes a few more steps than I usually like to do... but the end result is so worth it! And, it stores well in the fridge for several days, so it's a great recipe to make on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Then you can enjoy it another day (or two) in the busier week ahead.

Make-Ahead Breakfast: Berry-Egg Bake
(makes 16 servings)
stores in fridge for several days

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pints of organic berries* 
16 eggs (separated: yolks in one bowl, whites in another)
1/4 cup vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

*Pick your favorite kind of fresh organic berries or use a combo of different berries. You may also use frozen berries if fresh ones are out of season/too expensive. If using frozen, use 4 cups of berries or 32 ounces (which may be easier to figure out when you're staring at the packaging!).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large fry pan or saucepan, heat the berries and butter over medium heat until the liquid thickens (about 5 minutes) to a syrup consistency.  Pour the berries and syrup that was made into a 13x9 (or two 8x8) oven-proof baking dish(es).

Your eggs should be separated into two bowls: one with the yolks, one with the whites.

Beat the egg whites, using a hand mixer, until  stiff peaks form. Set aside while you beat the egg yolks. 

Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the bowl of egg yolks, and whisk the yolk mixture for a few minutes until well blended. 

Gently fold the yolks into the whites, then evenly spoon egg mixture over berries. Place baking dish in preheated oven, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until top puffs up slightly, is golden brown, and knife inserted in the center of the dish comes out clean. (Depending upon your oven, it may take a few minutes more/less to cook the eggs.) The Berry-Egg Bake may be enjoyed warm, or at room temperature. It stores well in the fridge for several days, so make this big batch and enjoy it for days to come!

Here's the recipe in photos for those who like to follow along visually...

The berry mixture was cooked over medium heat until syrup from berries is slightly thickened, then the berries were evenly spread into a baking dish.

I added vanilla to my egg whites-- by accident! No problem! You'll see that the egg whites go from hardly anything to a large quantity once they are beaten, so be sure to start with a big enough bowl!

The egg whites were beaten until stiff peaks formed, using a hand mixer. Then, I set them aside while I worked on the yolks...

I added cinnamon and vanilla to the yolks too. Never can have too much vanilla, apparently!! But you can choose whether you want to add it to the yolks OR whites. Either is fine. In the recipe above, I have you adding them to the yolks.

Beat the yolks for a few minutes, just until frothy...

and then fold them into your egg whites...


Now spread the egg mixture over your berries, and pop it into a preheated oven for about 18 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through. I test this by inserting a knife into the center of the dish.

And there you go! You can enjoy it now, in the company of family and friends, and/or pack some away in the fridge to enjoy on a busy weekday ahead.

I served ours berry-side up. This recipe is a total keeper! Perfect for weekend brunch and then school/work mornings ahead. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!!

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