Apple Season Inspires Both Sweet And Savory Dishes

Apple layered pork tenderloin with pecan sauce headlines a full apple menu

Apples are such a tasty and versatile fruit that come in more varieties than I can even name.  They are also perfect in both sweet and savory dishes.  Today I’ve created a pork tenderloin dish that takes thinly sliced apples and layers them over a seasoned tenderloin.  Once baked, this dish is topped with a creamy pecan sauce.   For a sweet dessert, my basic apple pie recipe is below.  But, I also experimented with combining apples with other traditional desserts.  So, check out my apple and sweet potato pie and the apple and peach cobbler.  Lasty, I've included my version of the Waldorf Salad using smoked chicken breast from my smoker.

Pork Tenderloin With Apples and Pecans


1 Center Cut Pork Tenderloin, about 1 1/2 lbs
1/4 cu Brown Sugar
1 tbl Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped
1 tsp Kosher Salt, plus a pinch
1/2 tsp Pepper
1.5 tbl Olive Oil
1 extra large Apple, I used a Granny Smith
1/2 cu Hard Cider (like a Woodchuck or Strongbow)
1/4 cu Pecan Pieces
1/2 tbl butter, melted
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove tenderloin from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Rinse the pork loin and pat dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or saucapan over high heat.  Carefully place tenderloin in pan a sear it on all sides, about 1 1/2 minute per side.  Transfer tenderloin to a work surface.  Set the pan and drippings aside but do not discard.  

Mix together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, the fresh thyme and a pinch of salt.  Once tenderloin has cooled, rub this mixture into it all sides.  

Core the apple, being sure to remove all seeds and stem parts.  Ideally you want to use a mandolin to thinly slice the apple.  Starting at the bottom, slice across the apple to create disks.  If you don't have a mandolin, slice the apple as thinly as possible.  

Using aluminum, create a rectangular 'boat' about 1" wider than the tenderloin with sides about 1" tall.  Place the tenderloin in the boat and then place both on a baking sheet.  Starting at one end, layer the apple slice over the tenderloin, overlapping them side by side down the length of the tenderloin.  If they slices are pliable enough, tuck them under the tenderloin along the bottom.  Don't worry if they are pliable, though.  You'll be able to work them a bit when you remove the tenderloin from the oven.  Create a loose foil tent, making sure it doesn't touch the apples, and place the tenderloin in the oven.  Bake until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F (about 45 minutes with my oven).  Remove tenderloin from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, reheat the pan used for searing (you can also add a tablespoon or two of the drippings in the bottom of the 'boat') .  Pour  cider into the pan and scrape away up all the drippings.  Add the remaining brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Add pecan and butter and stir until sauce thickens, about 4-6 minutes.  If sauce gets too dry, add a bit more cider.  Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar.

Transfer the tenderloin to a serving platter and tuck the apples under the meat along the bottom.  Spoon the sauce over the apples and serve.

Apple Peach Cobbler

Mom's Pie Crust

2 1/2 cu All Purpose Flour
3/4 cu Margarine (12 tablespoons), diced and cold
6 oz Cream Cheese, diced and cold

Cobbler Filling

2 cans sliced peaches (15.25 oz. size)
2 lb Granny Smith Apples, peeled & sliced in wedges similar to the canned peaches
7 tbl Margarine
1 cu Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Brown Sugar
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Additional granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to sprinkle on crusts


Prepare crusts.  Combine flour, margarine and cream cheese and mix together with your hands, breaking margarine and cream cheese down into smaller bits.  Continue blending until the flour has been incorporated and dough holds together.  Divide the dough into two equal parts.   Roll each into a ball and flatten slightly.   Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Remove one dough package from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured board to about a 14” square.  Transfer to an 8” x 8” baking dish.  Round the excess dough into a thick border around the edge of the dish.  Using your index finger on one hand and your thumb and index finger on the other, form ridges in the border.  Using a fork, make random holes in the crust.  Lightly sprinkle the crust with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Because this is a delicate and soft dough, I place two sheets of aluminum crisscrossing each other in the bottom and up the sides of the pan against the crust.  Pressed into the dough, this will keep the crust from sliding down the dish during the initial baking process. Bake crust in the oven until lightly brown (about 12 to 15 minutes). Remove from oven and remove aluminum.  Allow to cool.

In the meantime, pour about 2 tablespoons of the liquid from one of the peaches into a small bowl.  Add cornstarch and stir until fully incorporated.  Set aside.  In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of margarine over medium high heat.  Add apples and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Sautee until apples are tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.  Add peaches and their juices, the remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, and dissolved cornstarch.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tablespoons of margarine, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the vanilla. Continue to simmer until mixture thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.  Pour into prepared crust.

Roll out second crust into a rectangle 9” x 12”. Cut 1/2" strips 9” long, yielding about 22-24 strips. Starting on one corner of your cobbler, lay one strip vertically across and lay a second one perpendicular to the first. Continue laying strips in an alternating pattern interlacing them with the previous strips to form a latticework top. Tuck the edges up against the ridges of the bottom crust. Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of margarine cut into small pieces. Place on the center rack of your oven and bake until the crust is golden, about 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Mom's Sweet Potato


Mom's Pie Crust
Recipe for one crust

1 - 1 1/4 cu All Purpose Flour
1/2 cu Margarine
3 oz Cream Cheese


Cut margarine into small cubes. Combine all three ingredients. Using your fingers, mix ingredients to form a dough.

Knead for about 30 seconds and roll out to form your crust.

Sweet Potato Pie


1 Pie Crust (recipe above)
3 med Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch cubes (for an alternative, use 2 potatos and 3 lg honey crisp apples using the same directions)
1 pinch Salt
4 tbl Butter
1/2 cu Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Roll out crust and line a pie pan. Crimp edges of crust using your fingers. Set aside.

Place potatoes (and apples if you are making the alternative) in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover potatoes by about one inch. Add salt and bring to boil. Continue to cook until tender (about 20 minutes).

Drain potatoes fully and mash with butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Pour mixture into crust. Use aluminum foil to cover the edges of the crust to prevent it from burning during baking.

Place pie into oven and bake for about 1 hour until filling is set. Remove the aluminum and, if crust hasn't browned, continue baking until crust has reach a nice golden color.

Apple Pie


2 pie crusts (recipe above)
6 med Apples
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 cu Granulated Sugar
1/4 cu Light Brown Sugar
2 tbl  All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
1 tbl Butter
about 2 tbl Milk
Additional granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to sprinkle on crusts


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel, core, and thinly sliced apples. Mix with lemon juice. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Place one pie crust in a pie pan and allow edges to extend over the sides. Layer half of the sliced apples on crust. Top with half of the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining apples and sugar. Dot the top with pieces of the butter.

Roll out second crust. Cut four to five teardrop shapes (about 11/2 inches long) around the center to vent pie as it cooks. Place crust over apple and sugar mixture allowing edges to extend over lower crust. Crimp two crust edges together using your fingers.

Brush the top with milk and lightly sprinkle sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon on top. Loosely cover pie with aluminum foil and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until crust is golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Chicken Waldorf Salad


2 lg Apples (I used Honey Crisp)
2 tbl Lemon Juice
1 pkg Pre Cooked Chicken (9oz size) or bake or grill your own
1 cu Celery, sliced
1 cu Red Seedless Grapes, halved
1/3 cu Golden Raisins
1/2 cu Walnuts
1 container Greek Yogurt (5.2 oz size)
3 tbl Apple Cider
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Green Leaf Lettuce for serving


Core the apples and cut them into 1” cubes.  Place apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.  Add chicken, celery, grapes, raisins and walnuts.   Mix yogurt and cider in a small bowl and pour over salad.  Stir ingredients together and add salt and pepper.  Serve over a bed of lettuce and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

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