Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Peel, core, and cut each apple into eight wedges, rubbing the cut edges with the cut side of the lemon half as you go, and then juice the lemon half into a small bowl and set aside. In a 10-inch skillet, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter with the sugar over medium-high heat. Add the apple wedges and cook, turning halfway, until soft and a rich amber color, about 8 min. (reduce the heat to medium if they start to burn). Set aside and keep warm.
Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (don’t use nonstick) over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the pork on all sides until nicely browned, about 5 min. total. Put the skillet in the oven and roast until an instant- read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork registers 140° to 145°F, 10 to 15 min. Transfer to a warm plate (don’t clean the skillet), tent with foil, and let rest for 10 min.
Set the skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbs. butter. When it melts, add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent but not browned, about 3 min. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Calvados. Return the pan to the stove, raise the heat to medium high, and boil until the Calvados is almost gone, 1 to 2 min. Add the cider and thyme; simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half, 2 to 3 min. Add the cream and cook over very low heat until the sauce is golden and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 min. Cut the remaining 3 Tbs. butter into 1/2-inch cubes and swirl them into the sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tsp. of the reserved lemon juice or to taste. Slice the pork and serve with the warm apples and sauce.
Serve with Roasted Winter Vegetables with a Maple-Ginger Glaze or Basic Roasted Broccoli.
nutrition information (per serving):
38, Fat Calories
340, Saturated Fat
47, Monounsaturated Fat
21, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips