Make your double batch (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) cornbread at least 1 day in advance so it can be cooled, cubed, and then left to dry at room temperature uncovered for 24 hours. This keeps the stuffing from becoming mushy, and allows the cornbread to absorb more of the vegetable broth.
Once your cornbread has been dried, begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and adding cranberries to a small baking dish. Top with water (or orange juice) and maple syrup. Toss to combine, then bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and soft. Set aside and reduce oven heat to 375 F (190 C).
While cranberries are baking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, onion, leeks and a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant. Set aside.
Add the dried cornbread to a large mixing bowl along with leeks, thyme, and pecans or walnuts (optional). Then add another healthy pinch each salt and black pepper and the vegetable broth, starting with half (1 cup or 240 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and working your way up to 2, stirring gently as you go. You aren't looking to make a purée out of the mixture, but rather gently toss and incorporate the flavors. I found 2 cups (480 ml) to be the perfect amount (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). You want the cornbread to be moistened but not saturated.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Prep time reflects making and drying the cornbread, as well as making the stuffing. Cook time reflects cooking the cranberries, leeks and stuffing.