Brown Bread Stuffing with Fruit
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
- 1 pound loaf whole-wheat bread, cut into large dice
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup dried apples, roughly chopped
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup apple juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
Add the bread in a large bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, stir in the garlic, celery, and onions, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and the sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cherries, apples, and the pecans. Transfer to the bowl with the bread and toss to evenly combine.
Combine the remaining butter with the broth and the apple juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Drizzle over the bread mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown on top and heated through and the internal temperature registers 160 to 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 to 45 minutes.