12 oz Jones Dairy Farm Dry Aged Cherry Hardwood Smoked Bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 lbs brioche loaf, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Vidalia onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 sprigs of fresh sage, plus additional for garnish
6 egg yolks
2 1/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Render bacon until slightly crispy. In a food processor, combine 1/4 cubed bread and 1/4 cooked bacon and pulse until fine - reserve for topping.
Cut onion into medium dice. Bring an 8 inch sauté pan to high heat with olive oil; add onion, a pinch of sea salt, and a pinch of pepper. Lower the heat to medium and sauté 15 minutes or until caramelized.
Remove sage leaves from stems and fry in a sauté pan with butter until just crisp over medium heat.
Whisk egg yolks and eggs together with milk, caramelized onion, 1 3/4 cups shredded gruyère, sweet cherries, fried sage, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl combine bread, bacon, and liquid mixture. Pour well saturated strata mixture into greased 9"x13" casserole pan, and sprinkle with bread and bacon topping mixture and remaining Gruyere.
Cook in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until cooked through (should be soft and moist inside and golden on the outside).
Allow to cool slightly and serve warm. To serve, cut into 8 portions and garnish with fried sage, if desired.