You know that Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” sung by Andy Williams? Well, I feel like singing that song when the fall season arrives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big, big Christmas fan, but my favorite season is fall. I just can’t help but get giddy when the leaves start changing colors and the days become cooler. It’s also right about the time that I start creating a lot of apple recipes, including this apple glazed pork tenderloin.
I love going to all the apple festivals at the start of the season. I just love the idea of coming home with handpicked apples to use in the kitchen. I usually end up making a lot of apple jam with the apples (I’ll be sharing a recipe for that soon, so keep an eye out!). Apple jam can be enjoyed on a slice of toast, or as a glaze for meats, like I’ve done here with this apple glazed pork tenderloin.
You can of course use a store-bought apple jelly, but I love the taste and rustic look of homemade apple preserves. Once it’s smeared all over the tenderloin, the tenderloin is baked for approximately 40 minutes. Most tenderloin recipes require marinating the tenderloin overnight, but this one doesn’t, which I personally appreciate. You get tons of sweet and salty flavor with this apple glazed pork tenderloin, but none of the patience and time that’s usually required to get such flavor. The tenderloin comes together in just under an hour, making it a feasible weeknight dinner. It’s also pretty enough to serve to guests, so you can always serve it with a side of scalloped potatoes when you have company over too!
- 1 1/4 lb. boneless pork tenderloin
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chopped sage
- salt and pepper
- 1 Gala apple, core removed and cut into chunks with the skin on
- 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup apple jam
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Carefully place the pork tenderloin into the pan and cook each side for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, or until each side is nicely browned.
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Remove the tenderloin from the pan, temporarily placing it on a plate. Add a generous pinch of salt to both sides of the tenderloin, as well as a small pinch of freshly ground pepper; set aside.
- To the pan, add another tablespoon of oil (if needed). Add the apple chunks and diced onion. Give everything a stir and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions turn translucent. Pour in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and again stir everything together. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Gently push aside the apple chunks and onions to clear a space in the middle of the pan for the pork tenderloin. Transfer the tenderloin back into the pan, pouring its residual juices on the plate in as well.
- Warm the apple jam for 30 seconds in the microwave, then add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to it. Stir in the vinegar until its incorporated, then smear the jam all over the pork tenderloin. Sprinkle the chopped sage over the entire contents of the pan.
- Cover the skillet with a sheet of foil, then bake the tenderloin for 20 minutes, stopping to remove the sheet of foil. Bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, until it registers at least 165°F on a meat thermometer. Once it's done baking, let the tenderloin rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal and serving.
- If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, simply brown the tenderloin in a regular skillet first, then transfer it to an oven-safe pan.