We were blessed last week with a generous gift of pork. Two large pork roasts and 14 large pork chops. Everything was frozen so I left a packet of 6 pork chops out to defrost. Of the classic food marriages, pork and apple is a firm favourite. If I cook pork and don’t do apple it always feels like something is missing – and that’s because it is.
We have a very old variety of apple tree in our back yard. Named Peasgood Nonsuch, it is a massive sized cooking apple that cooks up like a dream. It literally melts in the pot into a perfect apple sauce with only the barest addition of water. The water is only needed to stop it sticking until it starts breaking down. The process happens very quickly.
The tree produces far more than we can use, and we no longer have our rabbit or our dog who used to help eat up the windfall. The two hens do their best, but their appetites tend more toward the bugs on the apples. I always have chopped apple in the freezer ready to throw in a pot and cook up.
So last night when I got home from work I thought about our frozen apple stores, but was aware of the four ‘fresh’ apples sitting in the fruit bowl that are past their best. Three little wizened apples and one medium apple with a rapidly growing soft brown patch. I didn’t want to waste them so I took the more difficult path and decided to deal to them.
Peeled, cored and chopped into thin pieces, I threw them into a pot and set to them to cook. At this point I realised how spoiled I have been to have cooking apples. Eating apples just do not react the same way – nor do they taste as good when cooked – and I was short of time to give them too long to achieve any sort of mushiness. I gave them as long as I could, tried mashing them a bit – which was partially effective. There was no way those apples were going to make any decent form of applesauce. Time to get creative! That’s how this recipe came into fruition.
Quite simple and quick, it was done by the time my pork chops and accompanying vegetables were cooked.
Quantities are totally flexible.
Use as little or as much apple as you have on hand and adjust flavourings to taste.
♥ Ingredients ♥
1.5-2 C chopped apple
water to cover
3 t erythritol/stevia blend – more or less depending on the natural sweetness of the apples and your personal preference
2 t balsamic vinegar
1 t cider vinegar
1/2 t dried sage
1/4-1/5 t xanthan gum
♥ Method ♥
In a saucepan, put the apple, the sage, and sufficient water to cover the apples. It will look like a lot of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the apple starts to soften.
Remove the lid. With a potato masher, press down to break up some of the apple. The ideal texture has some broken down apple and some chunky bits. The water will evaporate away. Add more in if too much is lost.
Add in the vinegars, salt, and sweetener, if using. Taste and adjust to suit your preference.
Sprinkle over a little xanthan gum at a time, stirring it in well. Amount will depend on how much water has evaporated during the cooking process. The end product should have a slightly jammy consistency.
Serve with pork roast, pork chops, or sausages.
Also lovely on an antipasto board with cheese.
I served it with the pork chops which I’d seasoned with salt, pepper and dried sage, then baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes (they were thick chops).
Even better – we have left over pork chops and chutney for today’s lunch along with a colourful salad.
Happy and healthy eating,