1 bunch of celery tops removed
1 large fennel bulb with fronds or 1 bulb and 1 bunch of fennel
5 med/large Heirloom Apples like Arkansas Black, Black Twig, Rome or Pippin, washed well
1 large baguette (stale)
5 slices of whole grain bread (fresh)
3-4c of warm (about 100°F) Turkey, Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 lg Vidalia or Sweet Onion peel removed
3 med leeks tops white part only
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3tbsp Olive Oil
Serves enough for 8-10 people.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Using a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, reduce the baguette and fresh bread to crumbs. You might need to empty the food processor cup in the middle. Set aside the bread crumbs in a large bowl.
Then fit a fine slicing blade in the food processor. (You can use the same cup without washing it.) Wash and core the apples (don't peel them), then cut them each into four pieces. Slice them finely using the food processor. You will likely have to empty the food processor once in between. Set the apples aside.
While that blade is still fitted, slice the onion and leek cutting them up into food processor friendly sections before adding them to the processor. Using a thick julienne blade, process the celery and fennel and fennel fronds. If you don’t have a different blade then the standard slicing blade you’ve just used is fine.
In a large stockpot, heat 2 tbsp butter and 2-3tbsp of olive oil. Add apples, leeks and onions and let them sweat for about 5 mins. Next add the celery and fennel, and cook 2 mins more. Then add the bread crumbs and mix well.
Pouring slowly and stirring in between, use up to the 4c of stock. The amount of liquid your bread will hold and the sogginess is partly personal taste and partly dryness of the bread. I used about 3c of stock. Taste and season and mix again. Remove from heat and let cool slightly while buttering baking dish.
Butter a large baking dish using 1tbsp of butter – I used one about 14” in diameter and about 1.5” deep. Spoon dressing into prepared dish and press down to make the top even and to maximize the amount in the dish. If you have some left, feel free to use two baking dishes.
Top prepared dressing with dots of butter and place in preheated oven for about 30mins or until the top is golden brown. If it starts to get too dark on top you can cover with foil. Serve warm with chicken or turkey or roasted meats.