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I have pork loin chops and I have apple butter. Now what?

I've considered rubbing with salt & pepper, searing the pork on a grill pan, and then smearing them with apple butter before finishing in the oven. I've considered turning the apple butter into a marinade with some help from some ice apple cider, garlic, thyme, and maybe a clove or two.

What would you do?

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  1. Add some finely chopped garlic to the apple sauce, put the chops into a crock pot with the sauce, When done, serve with some fresh apple sauce on the side.

    17 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I'm not really sure that apple butter and apple sauce are interchangeable. Do you find it so todao?

      1. re: Googs

        They aren't even remotely interchangeable. One is an apple flavored fat and the other is a puree of cooked or uncooked apple along with other ingredients. But, whatever, pork and apples make for a great feast. I like a sauce with sauteed shallots, dijon mustard, hard apple cider, the apple butter and a hint of calvados (apple over-kill perhaps but it works).

        1. re: KateBChi

          That's kinda what I thought.

          I was also thinking about those exact same ingredients for either a sauce or marinade. I still think I'd like to sneak some thyme in there. Have you ever tried that?

          I want the pork to be the star and the apple butter simply to accentuate the pork. Any thoughts on that?

          1. re: Googs

            Thyme would work very well and I usually include it if I have some on hand. This is a sauce I serve with roast pork loin or tenderloin. Pork chops are so easy to over-cook that I tend to shy away from them unless someone really wants them. If you want to be more subtle with the apple nix the cider and compensate with a squeeze or two of lemon juice for the acid factor. Saute the minced shallots in the apple butter, add some mustard and the calvados, season to taste.

          2. re: KateBChi

            Apple butter has no butter in it. It's a highly reduced concentrate of apples.

            1. re: sr44

              I understand. Can't figure out why they don't call it apple jam . Mine has zero fat and zero salt, all carbs & sugar. That's why I was considering just using it as a coating before popping the chops into the oven. Further condensing a light layer of the "butter" might be all the kick it needs.

              1. re: Googs

                Phew. I had visions of major charring if you tried to fry with it. Maybe mix it with some mustard, coat the chops, and marinate overnight? Bake/braise on apple slices with onions?

                1. re: Googs

                  You can use the apple butter straight, or mix it with mustard, slather onto the chops before breading them with seasoned panko (garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme or summer savory). Either saute or spray with Pam and bake.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Bingo greygarious! That appeals to my savoury side. Have you done this? Does the panko crust manage to contain the apple butter?

                    1. re: Googs

                      well, i'm not gg (i'm gHg!), but i can tell you it *does* manage to contain the apple butter. the mustard really helps the panko adhere to the meat.

                      FWIW, sage & rosemary are usually my herbs of choice for the apple + pork combo. and for a really delicious accompaniment you can caramelize thinly sliced onion & fennel with some of the apple butter and a splash of cider vinegar. season to taste with salt & pepper, fortify with some fresh herbs, and if you're like me, add a pinch of red chile flakes for a spicy kick to balance the sweetness ;)

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Thanks everyone and especially thanks greygarious and goodhealthgourmet. I knew my concept had a missing element. Panko was it. I took all suggestions into consideration and the result was incredibly rewarding.

                        I made a fresh batch of the bbq rub from Weber's Real Grilling to which I always add a bit of granulated garlic. I rubbed the chops and put them in the fridge to marinate for about 4 hours (a/k/a all the time I had). I removed them from the fridge to allow them to warm at the same time that I started boiling the potatoes for mashing with the remaining bbq rub. The chops were then seared in a cast iron grill pan 2 minutes a side (they were thick). Once removed from the pan, I applied a light coating of apple butter using a butter knife and a dusting of panko. Note to self: use tinfoil in the bottom of the pan next time for the panko droppings. Into the 350 oven they went for 15 minutes.

                        What came out was, in Beau's opinion though he HAS to be nice to me, the best pork chops ever. From my end, I'd say the effort:reward ratio was definitely in my favour.

                2. re: sr44

                  OOPS. I make apple butter with dried apples and various spices and use butter but you are correct that what is normally sold as apple butter does not contain butter. It's more like jam. Apologies for my misunderstanding

                  1. re: KateBChi

                    apologies for posting my comment below - didn't mean to pile on. it seems we all posted at about the same time with the same information!

                3. re: KateBChi

                  Neither is what you've described. There's no fat in apple butter. Applesauce is cooked and can be either chunky or smooth, with or without additions though cinnamon and sweetening are common.

                  1. re: KateBChi

                    One is an apple flavored fat
                    ~~~~~~~
                    actually, apple butter doesn't contain any fat at all. it's just highly concentrated applesauce, usually with a texture somewhere between applesauce and apple jelly.

                    1. re: KateBChi

                      Applesauce is simply apples with nothing added. Apple butter is apple sauce with added spices (cinnamon, cloves, etc.). There isn't enough difference to make one more or less useful in most recipes unless you want to avoid the spices in the apple butter.

                      1. re: todao

                        Nope. Applesauce can be pure apples, or have spices, as perusal of recipes or supermarket labels will readily confirm. The difference is that apple butter is cooked down until it is darker and far more concentrated than is applesauce.

                4. I'd do something along the lines of what Cooks Illustrated does w/ glazed pork chops. Reduce brown sugar and apple cider and use apple butter instead.

                  http://www.foodbuzz.com/recipes/33788...

                  http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/1280...

                  1. I would coat the chops in a little mustard, sear them, and add some sauerkraut along with the apple butter, some thyme and a shake of caraway seeds. Then let it cook slow in the oven.