This crisp-on-the-top bread stuffing is similar to the classic but so much better thanks to additions like sweet apples, savory prosciutto, and zingy lemon zest. Plus, you can do most of the work (toast the bread cubes, sauté the vegetables, chop the prosciutto) up to 2 weeks ahead; see the Make-Ahead Tips, below.
Make Ahead Tips
The bread cubes can be toasted up to 2 weeks ahead. Once cooled, seal in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze. Thaw overnight at room temperature before continuing.
The leeks, apples and celery can also be sautéed up to 2 weeks ahead. Once cooled, seal in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then remove from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours before assembling the stuffing.
The prosciutto can be chopped, sealed in a zip-top freezer bag, and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before continuing.
You can bake it anywhere between 325°F and 400°F to suit what else may be cooking in the same oven; simply adjust the cooking time.
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I felt the prosciutto flavor overwhelmed. I actually doubled the sage amount and still barely tasted it. Also pretty much lost the apple and celery flavor. And I love prosciutto! And the lemon zest flavor also seemed a little out of place in a Thanksgiving side. Maybe I'm just too traditional.
Thought this was a nice dish for Thanksgiving. Usually make a heavier and richer stuffing with sausage but really enjoyed the flavors of the combination of the apples and prosciutto. Definitely will be making this again next year!
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