"Because life is good, home cooking is best, and there is always something to be grateful for." - Christy Jordan

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin... A Dinner To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth!

I know I've told you before, but I have a serious sweet tooth. I would gladly choose a dessert over having an actual, nutritious meal. You should see my "sweets" section in my homemade recipe-book. I think it's about 4 times the size of all my other sections...combined. I just can't resist a good dessert recipe! They're the ones that always stick out to me when I'm looking at all the food blogs I love.

When I get food cravings, it's usually for something sweet. Cake, cookies, brownies, ice cream....oh Lord, I'm salivating.  Here's a recipe that is sweet, but still nutritious and can be classified as a "main course." It's like dessert... okay, I'm kidding. We all know that there's no way you would eat this Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin and not want dessert afterward! That would be just crazy!

It's not a secret that pork and apples just go together. Like peanut butter and jelly...or macaroni and cheese.... or peaches and my belly :) Just kidding. But really, there's something about the combination of the pork and the sweet, soft apples. It's delicious. 

This recipe couldn't be easier. You just mix a couple things together, dump it over the meat and bake it. So easy! 

Sweet, juicy, cinnamon apples! Yum!  

Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin

1-1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks (I used Granny Smith)
3-4 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. dried cranberries (optional)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Get out a baking dish or roasting pan. (I just used a 9"x13" cake pan. You really just need something will tall sides.) Line the pan with foil. You'll thank me for this tip later! Just make sure the ends of the foil kind of fold up so any juices don't get on the pan.

Next, salt and pepper your pork. I know this sounds weird with the sweet apples, but salt and pepper are standard things to put on any meat. It will give the pork more flavor.

Like so! See how the sides are folded up?

Now it's time to make the cinnamon apple mixture. Sometimes cutting up fruits and vegetables can be intimidating. It sounds silly, but I'll walk you through how I cut up my apples.
First peel it, with either a paring knife or vegetable peeler and remove the stem.

Then slice it down the middle so you end up with two halves. Then cut each half into two pieces.

As you know, apples have seeds, so we need to get rid of them. You can either lay the apple piece on it's side and cut into it at an angle to cut the chunk with seeds in it out, or you can set each piece up straight and slowly slice it out.

Stand it up straight...

Slice it, cutting straight down, so you cut out the seeded part. Be careful!!

Then slice each quarter into three pieces, lengthwise. Line those up, like you're putting the apple pieces back together, and chop them into chunks. I think I got about 4 chunks out of each piece.
 You'll end up with this!

Dump all your apple chunks into a medium sized bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and dried cranberries if you're using them. The cornstarch probably seems strange, but it reacts with the juices that come out of the apples and pork to create a thick sauce that is delicious. I've also made this once without the cranberries and once with them, and both were good. So don't worry if you don't have them or don't like them!  

Stir until everything is coated and combined!
Spoon this mixture around the pork tenderloin and cover the pan with foil. Pop it into the oven and bake it for 30 minutes.
 Cover this and throw it in the oven! Delish!

Take it out after 30 minutes and take the foil off. Spoon the apple mixture over the pork tenderloin and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  The apples will look shiny, brown and juicy. (Like the first picture I posted.)

Y'all will love this recipe... guaranteed! Enjoy :)

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