If you are planning a dinner party for a special occasion, such as Christmas, a family gathering, or even just a roast dinner, prune and apple stuffing balls make a tasty meat-, suet- and nut-free alternative to other stuffing recipes.
Traditionally served with game, this simple recipe for a sweet stuffing is suitable as a side dish for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
- Two medium cooking onions
- One large cooking apple or two small eating apples
- One 200g1 tin of prunes in syrup
- Two medium2-sized eggs
- 500g of brown or white bread (rolls or slices)
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and finely chop the onion. Shallow-fry in sunflower oil until it starts to brown.
Peel and core the apple, finely chop, then add to the onion and continue shallow frying until apple becomes soft and starts to brown.
Drain and de-stone the prunes, finely chop and add to the apple and onion, shallow-fry for a further five minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the apple mixture is cooling, use the bread to make breadcrumbs, either by fine-grating or by using a food processor.
Remove approximately one quarter of the breadcrumbs and place in a separate bowl for use later on.
Stir the apple, onion and prune mixture into the breadcrumbs and mix well so they are evenly distributed.
Beat the eggs until light, and then add two-thirds to the apple mixture. Mix well until the egg starts to bind the ingredients together.
Using your hands, take a small amount of the mixture and roll it into a ball - approximately the size of a golf ball - then dip it into the beaten egg and roll in the remaining breadcrumbs.
Repeat this process until all the mixture is used.
Place the balls on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C, gas mark 4, turning halfway through.
Once oven-baked, shallow-fry the balls in oil on high heat, turning regularly, until crispy all over.
Preparation time is about 30 minutes, with 30 minutes cooking time in total.
The recipe makes around 15 to 25 stuffing balls, depending on the preferred size.
Steps one to ten can be done in advance, and then the balls can be frozen. Defrost these before cooking as described in steps 11 and 12.
- Fresh breadcrumbs, not the dried, commercially-available type, should be used.
Serve as a starter with a salad.
Alternatively, serve as a nibble. Make the balls smaller (marble-sized) and place on a cocktail stick, served with a dish of home-made tomato sauce, for dipping.