My pork roast with apple brandy glaze is a delicious fall meal, brimming with the flavors of sweet apples and savory herbs. Simply roasted until succulent and juicy, the pork loin is brushed with a glaze prepared with apple brandy and cider, and nestled atop of fresh apples and onions for a sweet and savory accompaniment!
Pork Roast Glazed with Sweet, Earthy Flavors
In the cooler months, I truly appreciate turning on my oven and allowing it to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to meal time.
Delicious braises and succulent roasts combined with seasonal ingredients gently sputter away and crisp, sending sweet-savory and herby aromas into the air reminding everyone in the house that a cozy, warming dinner will soon be served.
Lean, juicy pork loin is one of my favorite cuts of meat to roast in the oven during autumn, when apples and cider are plentiful and fresh, as these pair scrumptiously with the mild pork, creating some earthy balance and a bit of festive flair.
Crusted with dried herbs and brushed with my homemade apple brandy glaze prepared with apple cider, Calvados (a French apple brandy), honey and a touch of apple cider vinegar, the pork roast gently cooks, nestled atop of fresh Golden Delicious apples and onions, to sweet, savory and seasonal perfection.
How to Cook a Pork Roast with Apple Brandy Glaze
When preparing my pork roast recipe, I like to begin by preparing my delicious, sweet apple brandy glaze to have on hand to brush over top of the pork loin.
I like to use equal parts Calvados apple brandy (you could use any kind of apple brandy, this one happens to be French), and unfiltered apple cider or apple juice. To this, I add a touch of honey, brown sugar, some salt, and a small drizzle of apple cider vinegar to balance the sweetness.
And because I use this glaze both during the roasting process as well as after the pork is roasted, I separate the glaze into two portions, one to use prior/during roasting, and one to use after the pork has roasted, to avoid cross contamination.
For a bit of savory, herby flavor, I like to use some Herbes de Provence to season my pork loin with, and then nestle that over top of a small bed of fresh apples and sliced onions for a sweet, juicy accompaniment.
Here's a sneak peek at my pork roast recipe with apple brandy glaze: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To start things off, I whisk together my apple brandy ingredients in a small sauce pan or pot, and place over medium-high heat; once the mixture comes to a boil, I reduce the heat and allow the glaze to simmer for about 20 minutes, to slightly thicken. Then, I divide the glaze equally between two ramekins or small dishes, and set both aside to cool.
- Next, I preheat my oven to 400°, and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- On a large platter or in a large bowl, I season my pork loin with my dried herbs and seasoning, and set it aside.
- I toss my sliced onions with a touch of oil, salt and pepper, and mound them onto my prepared baking sheet; next, I toss the apples with some oil, salt and pepper, and then mound those over top of the onions.
- Next, I place the seasoned pork loin over top of the apples and onions, and brush on some glaze from one of the ramekins; I then insert a meat thermometer and roast the pork until 145° and the meat is tender and juicy, brushing with glaze periodically.
- To serve, I allow the pork roast to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serve it atop of the apples and onions on a large platter; I pour the reserved glaze from the second ramekin over the pork, apples and onions, garnish with thyme leaves, and serve.
Pork Roast with Apple Brandy Glaze
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 673 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Pork Roast Ingredients:
- 3 pound pork loin, trimmed slightly of excess fat
- Olive or avocado oil
- Few pinches of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 onion, quartered and sliced thinly
- 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and quartered
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Apple Brandy Glaze Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider or apple juice
- 1/2 cup apple brandy (I use Calvados, which is a French apple brandy)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- To prepare the apple brandy glaze: in a small sauce pan, combine all of the glaze ingredients, and whisk together, place over medium-high heat and bring to the boil; then, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by about half.
- Pour the glaze into a heat-safe bowl or glass jar, place into fridge, and allow to cool for about 45 minutes (it will also thicken a bit more as it cools); once ready to use, pour half of the glaze into a small dish, reserving this for use after the pork is cooked (as not to cross-contaminate), and use the other half for glazing during the cooking process.
- To prepare the pork roast: place the pork loin into a large bowl or onto a work surface, and drizzle a little of the oil, about 2 tablespoons, all over it. In a small ramekin, combine 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the ground black pepper, the Herbes de Provence and the granulated onion, and sprinkle all over the pork loin, rubbing it in (this can be done ahead and kept in fridge over night).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 400°.
- Toss the onions with a drizzle of oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and turn them out onto the baking sheet; next, toss the apples with a touch of oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, as well, and add them atop of the onions.
- Place the pork loin, fat side up, on top of the apples, and brush liberally with some of the glaze you've reserved for use during the cooking process. Insert a thermometer into the center of the loin, and roast until the internal temperature registers 145°, reapplying the glaze periodically. Allow the loin to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- Place the loin onto a cutting board, and slice; arrange the apples and the onions on platter, place the sliced pork on top, and pour the glaze that you reserved for after the loin is cooked over top (you can warm it slightly in the microwave for a few seconds if it's too cool.)
- Sprinkle thyme leaves over everything, and serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Pork Roast with Apple Brandy Glaze:
- Pork loin, a lean yet tender cut: For this recipe I like to use a (roughly) 3 pound pork loin and trim it of excess fat. I keep a small amount of the fat on it to allow it to render as the pork roasts, to keep the meat tender and juicy. You could use a couple of smaller pork tenderloins instead, if you have those on hand.
- Fresh apples, for sweet, seasonal side: Golden Delicious apples are a good varietal to use for this recipe, as they are sweet and tangy, and a bit on the softer side. They roast up nice and tender next to the pork roast, and offer a nice apple flavor. You could substitute Jonagold, Honeycrisp, or even Gala apples if you desire.
- Apple brandy for the glaze: Since I typically like to have some Calvados (a French apple brandy) on hand to use in cocktails and other recipes, I use that here in this glaze. But feel free to use any apple brandy you prefer. You could even substitute pear brandy in a pinch, and switch up some pears for the apples!
- Use a digital thermometer for perfect doneness: Rather than give a specific length of time to roast the pork, I suggest you always use a digital thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loin. Once the pork roast reaches 145° (it takes roughly 1 hour), you're good to take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated with even more love!