From Wine, Food & Friends, by Karen MacNeil
10 (50gm) slices sturdy white bread
2 cups late harvest sweet riesling or other sweet white wine
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups (170gm) young Gouda, shredded
3 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into ½ cm thick slices (about 4 cups)
3 cups fat-free milk
4 large eggs
1.Coat a 33 x 22 cm baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange 5 bread slices in bottom of dish in a single layer.
2. Pour 1 cup of wine over bread. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Top with ¾ cup cheese. Arrange pear slices over cheese, repeat layers of bread, wine, salt, pepper and cheese.
3.Combine milk and eggs in a bowl, stir well with a whisk. Pour milk mixture over bread mixture. Let stand 20 mins.
Preheat oven to 220C.
4. Cover strata with foil, and bake at 220C for 30mins. Uncover and bake an additional 25mins or until golden brown.
5.Let stand 10mins.
La Femme Version:
Whilst that version of the Strata paired well with the wine I have to say the recipe is really very much better with a sweeter wine. The flavour of the pear and the creaminess of the Gouda cheese was sublime with a barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley too as pear is a dominant flavour of that particular grape variety and the oak treatment had given the wine a wonderfully creamy texture.
Villiera, (Chenin Blanc), Jeffrey Grier for Marks & Spencer, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2010, MYR99