Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I’ve been busy planning my menu for a while now. I’ve already found the perfect cornbread, we’ve ordered a turkey, I have six pie crusts in my fridge… the only thing left is the stuffing! Stuffing has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dish, so this year, it better be good. We usually make stuffing from a mix, but I want to make homemade stuffing this year. I was getting frustrated finding a recipe that measured up to Kraft’s Stove Top Stuffing Mix. The recipes that I tried all have either too much chicken broth, are to mushy, or are too oily.
Luckily, this one is different. It’s not a traditional stuffing (i.e. you can’t actually stuff a turkey with it), but boy is it good. It’s technically a bread pudding, but when served in a casserole dish, it can totally pass for stuffing. It is a wonderful medley of sweet and savory flavors. Apples, fluffy bread, and whipping cream complement sage, cornbread and onions.
This recipe is from the restaurant Ris in Washington D.C.. The Washingtonian has a series called “recipe sleuth” where they track down awesome recipes from famous restaurants in Washington D.C.. I love knowing that I can save time and money making real, restaurant food at home. It makes me feel like I’m beating the system.
When I tested the recipe, I used a loaf of brioche from Whole Foods. However, there was a sale on panettone at the grocery store this weekend, so I am planning on replacing the brioche with panettone for our Thanksgiving feast. I use homemade cornbread in this recipe (bake up a double batch, use half in this recipe, and serve half as a side dish); however, store bought cornbread would work just fine as well.
NOTE: The panettone makes this recipe absolutely delicious! Brioche and challah are good, but panettone makes this casserole absolutely legendary. If you can get your hands on one, by all means use panettone.
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing ramekins
1 cup peeled, ¾-inch diced Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples
1 cup finely julienned onions
2 cups ¾-inch diced cornbread, from a favorite recipe or storebought
2 cups ¾-inch diced brioche or challah (I use Panettone which is DELICIOUS)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (blanch the leaves before chopping)
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
½ teaspoon ground pepper
4 ounces apple butter (see recipe below)
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cups heavy cream
Butter the bottom and sides of eight 8-ounce ramekins and set aside. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees for a convection oven or 325 for a conventional oven.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the cut apples, letting them sit briefly to gain color. Stir and allow them to cook a few minutes more until they’re lightly brown but still firm. Remove from pan and set aside.
Melt the other tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, stirring occasionally until they’re soft and lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the cornbread, brioche, herbs, salt, white pepper, apple butter, and the caramelized apples and onions once they’ve cooled. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, Tabasco, and cream. Add the egg mixture to the cornbread mixture and let soak for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Divide the mixture into each of the buttered ramekins, filling each to ¼ inch from the top. Place the ramekins in a water bath and bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (This recipe can be prepared in a larger casserole form, which bakes for a longer time, roughly 45 minutes. Again, test the doneness with a toothpick.)
2 Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples, peeled and sliced (roughly ¼-inch thick)
1 tablespoon butter
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, letting them rest a minute or two to get color. Stir and cook a few minutes longer so the apples are lightly brown and soft. Purée in a blender, and let cool before mixing with other ingredients.
From the Washingtonian