I’ve been meaning to post this delicious recipe for roast pork with applesauce for a while now, but needed to wait until I was reunited with the recipe so I could get the details right.
It’s from Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times, a book I borrowed from my sister and returned before getting the recipe.
When she came for a visit last weekend I asked her to bring the book along so I could jot it down.
I often think of applesauce when I think of pork, but had never considered combining them this way.
That’s why I love Mark Bittman: He’s a genius of crafting simple and delicious recipes for everyday home cooks like me.
As he explains in the headnotes, “the superlean pork sold in supermarkets tends to dry out as it cooks.” So, he experimented with coating a small pork loin with a thick layer of drained unsweetened applesauce to protect it and keep it moist without overwhelming it with sweetness, the way jam would.
The results? Delicious! This is a recipe I can’t wait to make again, now that I have the recipe recorded. The variation, substituting 1 cup of apricot jam or marmalade for the applesauce, sounds yummy too, though it would be a bit higher in Weight Watchers PointsPlus.
- 2 cups applesauce, preferably unsweetened
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Position an oven rack as close to the top of the oven as is practical (remember to take the height of the roast into account). Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Meanwhile put the applesauce in a fine strainer over a bowl or in the sink to allow the excess liquid to drain off.
- Line a roasting pan with a double thickness of aluminum foil (to make cleanup easy) and brush the foil with a little oil or give it a quick coating with nonstick spray.
- When the oven is hot, sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper and then spread an even layer of the applesauce all over it, using up all the applesauce. Sprinkle on a little more salt and pepper and roast until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 155 degrees. While the roast is cooking you will want to check on it every 15 minutes or so to make sure the applesauce isn’t burning. It’s okay if it turns brown in spots, but you don’t want the top to blacken. After about 45 minutes in the oven, begin checking the pork with an instant read thermometer until it reaches 155, then remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it crosswise into thin slices.
- Serve the meat along with any accumulated juices
Variation: Substitute 1 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade for the applesauce. Warm it over low heat, stirring in 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice to thin it slightly. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
More Weight Watchers Friendly Roast Pork Recipes
*PointsPlus® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.