Apple-Cranberry Dressing

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From Summerland by Anne Quatrano

When I was growing up in Connecticut, we called this “stuffing.” In the South, it is “dressing.” regardless of semantics, this is a comforting, classic Thanksgiving favorite. It is very close to my grandmother’s recipe, although she (like so many of our mothers and grandmothers!) used Pepperidge Farm stuffing and doctored it up some. For the most reliable results, I prefer to cook the dressing on its own in a casserole dish instead of stuffing it into the uncooked turkey. I love the flavors of the sage and celery with the sweetness of the apple. I often add browned and crumbled sweet Italian sausage, but it is quite good without the pork.

Ingredients
1 (2-pound) loaf of sourdough bread 1 pound (4 sticks) butter
2 stalks celery, medium diced
2 sweet onions, medium diced
2 apples (preferably Gala or Yates), peeled, cored, and medium diced
10 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt
2 cups Chicken Stock or Turkey Stock
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Dice the bread into 1-inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes; set aside. If baking the dressing right away, leave the oven at 350° F. (You can toast the bread several days in advance and store in an airtight container or bag.)

Melt the butter in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the celery and onions and sauté until softened, 5 minutes.

Add the apples and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the sage and season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and cook for 10 minutes, until it just comes to a simmer. Add the cranberries and stir.

Place the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the hot vegetables and stock over them; toss until well coated. Transfer to a 9 x 14-inch casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the top is crispy.

Serves 12.

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