Fruit and Toasted Almond Stuffing
This recipe, created by Ricki Blau, won third place in VT's 2009 Reader Recipe Contest. Blau's family and friends range from omnivores to vegans, so when they gather for holidays she likes to prepare food they can all share. Blau put this recipe together last October when she hosted a few Canadian-American families for Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet, and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until dry and crisp. Transfer to large bowl.
2. Increase oven to 350°F. Spread almonds on baking sheet, and toast 10 minutes, or until pale brown and fragrant, stirring occasionally.
3. Coat 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft
and translucent. Add celery, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in apples, sage, parsley, thyme, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg; season
with salt, if desired. Cook 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and vinegar, and remove from heat.
4. Combine apple mixture, bread cubes, almonds, and dried cherries in large bowl. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and pour broth over top. Cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes, or until stuffing begins to brown on top. If you prefer crisp stuffing, remove foil, and bake 10 minutes more.