Pork Chops and Fruit Butter

Pork Chop and Fruit Butter

I sometimes spend my free time at the Markets on the weekends daydreaming about what jam I’m planning to make on Mondays. Last weekend it was Plum Butter renting space in my head. I found terrific plums at Tonnemakers and bought a case, also some apples from Les at Jones Creek to round it out. The last piece was spicing and on that difficult question I had some choices  — vanilla, cardamom, citrus, apple, ginger, cinnamon. As usual with difficult questions involving study and thought, I asked my daughter the rabbi.

She voted for apple and ginger as flavorings.  Later on Sunday I was thinking about how great this plum butter would be on a pork chop and it stuck me that I was right next to Jennifer of Crown S Ranch. I’ve written about Crown S before and my
farm envy. Jennifer provided me with a couple of beautiful pork chops.

A couple of notes about these pork chops. In my lifetime, I remember when pork was a deliciously fatty meat with a lot of flavor. In its effort to make pork “the other white meat, ” industrial food, AKA agribusiness,has made it lean and flavorless. These chops are neither lean nor flavorless.If you look closely, you can see the marbling, and I believe their rich outdoor life gives them great flavor.

When I got home Monday night, I realized I had left all the plum butter in storage and —  in a wild fit of improvisation —  I used apple butter instead.  I browned the chops in
my ever-reliable cast iron skillet,

And then I spread apple butter on them and popped them in the oven to finish for another five minutes or so, resulting in this


And on the plate with a salad of local origin

An alternative would be to put the chops to finish in the oven on a separate pie plate, after they’re browned. Then sauté some chopped shallots in the frying pan until they’re lightly brown. Deglaze the pan with a  little apple cider, add a big dollop of fruit butter, bring it to a boil, add a spoonful of real butter, salt pepper  and   serve as a sauce over the chops.

I made the plum butter using my Fruit butter recipe. About 10-12 pounds of pitted plums, about 5 pounds of apples and two cups of apple cider went into my big pot. I covered it
and cooked them until everything was soft and mushy. I then passed it through the food mill on the mid-size disc and ended up with about 5 quarts. I added the juice and grated rind of one organic lemon, a tablespoon of powdered ginger and 2 and ½ quarts of organic sugar. I then put it on the back of the stove simmering very gently for a couple of hours, until nice and thick. (It formed a mound on the spoon).  It was “lovely, dark
and deep.”


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