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Kick your stuffing up a notch with this fruity stuffing packed with flavour.
For pretty much as long as people have been cooking meat they've been stuffing things inside. Most of us think of sage and onion stuffing as the most traditional kind - probably thanks to John Crampton who invented Paxo in 1901, to make his roast poultry more exciting. However, if you really want to make poultry more exciting, a fruity stuffing like this might be an even better option. With strong tangy flavours of apple and prune, nutty pecans and smooth butternut squash, this works so well Christmas turkey smothered in gravy. Plus it's a great vegetarian option alongside a nut roast.
- 30g (1oz) butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and finely diced - use 500g (1lb) for the stuffing and keep rest for a vegetable medley
- 1 cooking apple, peeled and finely diced
- 100g (3½oz) ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
- 100g (3½oz) pecan nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 2tbsp brandy or Marsala
- 125g (4oz) coarse, day-old breadcrumbs
- 4tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 3 mins. Add the celery and squash and cook, covered, for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until the squash is softened. Use a potato masher to crush the vegetables, but not too smoothly. Spoon the mixture into a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients as you prepare them and mix well. Cool before using to stuff the turkey.
- Use about 500g (1lb) of stuffing for the neck end of the turkey and shape the rest into 16 stuffing balls. Put on a baking sheet (with some sausages in bacon) to cook later.
Top tips for making fruity stuffing
Other dried fruits you have handy at Christmas work well in this stuffing too - try dried apricots, figs or cranberries (which also add a lovely jewel colour). Swap the pecans for almonds or walnuts if you like.
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Sage and onion stuffing (opens in new tab)
Chestnut stuffing (opens in new tab)
Apple stuffing (opens in new tab)