This maple apple and sage stuffing is sweet and savory.
There are no agnostics where stuffing is concerned. Every family has its own belief system. There are the oyster people and the sausage people. The cornbread people will hear of no substitutions. When I was growing up, my mom called it dressing. Hers was pretty traditional, with celery, sage and onions, but it tasted dry to me, and I never liked it. So when I grew up, I made up my own. I don’t let any celery come near it. This sweet and savory dish gets crunch from pecans, sweetness from apples and maple syrup, and spice from the sage. My children all love it, which just goes to show you that the new traditions can sometimes work better than the originals. (PS: This is pretty good the next day on a sandwich with leftover turkey, too.)
- Stale baguette (You can use Pepperidge Farm seasoned stuffing crumbs in a pinch. They are pretty good.)
- 1 stick butter, melted, divided
- Garlic salt
- Dried sage
- Fresh sage
- 3 to 5 apples, depending on apple size and your preference, finely chopped
- 8 ounces pecans, chopped
- 2½ cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock (for 16 ounces of crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
Recipe & photo used with permission from An Old-Fashioned Christmas by Ellen Stimson, The Countryman Press (countrymanpress.com), a division of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (wwnorton.com), 2015. All rights reserved. Photos by Natalie Stultz Photography.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut baguette into cubes and cover with ½ the melted butter, garlic salt, and dried and fresh sage. Bake until you get crunchy croutons. Let bread cool and then use rolling pin or food processor to turn it into crumbs.
- Combine crumbs, remaining butter, apples, a lot more of the dried and fresh sage, pecans, chicken stock, maple syrup, and salt and pepper.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes until top is golden.