The crab apple trees in Golden are ripe for harvesting, and that’s just what several friends and I did the other day. I came home with more than 50 pounds of fruit and an idea. What if I put together a meal with apples in each course?
As my friend Juliann says — the best parties are themed.
And so began the Apple Extravaganza! Green salad with apples, stuffed pork loin roasted on a bed of apples and apple crisp for dessert. If I’d really been on my game, I would have come up with some signature brandy drink, but alas — I love grapes too much in that department to stray. And of course in the middle of whipping up this ridiculous meal, I didn’t take any photos of the completed project. You’ll have to take my word for it: it was good.
Roasted Apple and Pork Loin*
12 small crab apples, or 6 larger apples — cored
1 pork loin
A bit of butter, or olive oil
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 cup porcini mushrooms, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
dash of rosemary, salt, pepper
1/4 cup white wine
Place cored apples in roasting pan. Butterfly pork loin. In a cast iron skillet, cook onions, garlic and mushrooms in butter over medium heat until onions are translucent — about 10 minutes. Place butterflied pork loin on top of apples.
Pour onion/garlic/mushroom mixture down center of the loin. (It’s okay if some falls out. It will all still be yummy.) Add goat cheese on top of mixture, with a dash of rosemary, salt and pepper. Close pork loin flap/sandwich and contain with a handful of toothpicks. Sprinkle another dash of salt and pepper on top of closed roast. Roast at 360 for 1 hour or so, until a meat thermometer reads at least 160. Apples should be warm and mushy.
Place apples and pork loin on a serving dish. Add a 1/4 cup of white wine to the roasting pan and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, scraping at bits left in the pan. Pour au jus into a separate serving dish.
Apples to Apples afterward, over dessert? Divine.
* An improved take on this recipe.