with Apples and Leeks
Choose an artisanal dark bread, such as a pumpernickel or even a Pullman-style black bread. Do not use a packaged thinly sliced European-style pumpernickel or the stuffing will be too dry and crumbly. Quince may be substituted for the apple.
Serves 6 / Prep Time: / Total Time:
- Preheat the oven to 275°F.
- Spread the bread on a rimmed sheet pan and bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until crispy and dry, about 30 minutes. (If using fresh bread, the drying time may take longer.)
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apple, leek, and celery and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl, add the bread, parsley, thyme, salt, caraway seeds, and pepper, and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg, then whisk in the stock and cream to blend.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and toss gently until the liquid is absorbed. (The stuffing should be just wet enough to clump together loosely without being too wet.) Let the stuffing stand for 10 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350°F.
- In a small saucepan, melt the ¼ cup butter. Lightly coat a casserole dish with some of the butter, spread the stuffing in the dish and brush the top with the remaining butter. Place a sheet of wax paper over the stuffing and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and wax paper and continue to bake until the top is crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve immediately.