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Author Notes: I'm the type who makes a different stuffing every year... when I saw Nigella Lawson's Gingerbread Stuffing in her book Feast, I was intrigued. Using her idea as inspiration, I came up with my own version. I used my own pumpkin gingerbread muffin recipe as the base (make a double batch if you'd like to have some of the muffins to snack on, too)- it's easy to make a few days ahead, crumble up, and allow to stale a bit before you proceed with the stuffing. If you don't want to make your own gingerbread, use a good quality store-bought loaf. - WinnieAb
Make and then dry out the muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix together flour through ginger in a large bowl. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and the brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the pumpkin and the applesauce and mix well again. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until blended.
- Spoon into muffin tins that have been greased with butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
- To use the muffins in the stuffing, tear them into pieces and keep on a cookie sheet, uncovered, for a day or two. This should dry them out sufficiently; alternatively, you could put them in a 350°F oven to for 10 minutes or so before proceeding with the stuffing.
Make the stuffing
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups peeled and cubed cooking pumpkin or sweet potato
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 6 cups cubed ("stale" or toasted) pumpkin gingerbread muffins
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly with a fork
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and apple and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and soft.
- Add the cubed pumpkin, celery, and fennel and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add the apple cider and the ginger and cook for 7-10 minutes, until most of the cider has cooked off, and the vegetables are cooked through. Remove from the heat and mix in the salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the cubed pumpkin gingerbread in a large bowl. Add the eggs and the stock and mix well.
- Bake uncovered in a 350 °F oven for 50-60 minutes until the bread has crisped on the top.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Thanksgiving Stuffing