Servings: 6 to 8
Cider in a brine for pork loin imparts nuance and sweetness. Here, the cider does double duty, also starring in a pan sauce that gets drizzled on the finished dish.
I thought this was an excellent recipe. I agree with one reviewer that the apples became soft but I thought this was a nice feature. My pork cooked much more quickly than the recipe indicated, so I recommend watching it closely. I will absolutely make it again.
I wonder if there is a misprint in the publisher recipe. Specifically, the recipe call for 3 Granny Smith apples which supposedly should weigh 3-3/4 pounds. I needed 8 apples to achieve that weight. Thank goodness for instant read thermometers continually monitoring the internal temperature. At 30 minutes, not the 60 minutes as advised, I happened to check and found it already showing 153 degrees internal temp. Still, the loin was sufficiently moist and tasty, probably due to brining. I found the sauce a bit flat and was improved by a bit of lemon juice. Probably apple vinegar would have done as well. In summary, I'd make this again because my wife loved it.
I think the apples turned mushy because Granny Smiths are inappropriate for this type of recipe--it doesn't take much of that type of cooking to turn them to mush. I'd suggest golden delicious apples, which I use for other similar recipes and which hold their shape and firmness throughout the process. Gravensteins may also work although they seem more difficult to find these days. Golden delicious apples are everywhere, 12 months per year.
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