ROASTED PORK LOIN WITH QUINCES AND LADY APPLES
Author's note: The beautiful quince, with its creamy yellow skin and its apple-pear shape, is one of autumn's nicest gifts. Due to its coarse texture and astringency, the quince cannot be eaten raw. When cooked, it turns a pale pink and releases its sweet aroma and delicate flavor — an exotic fusion of guava, pineapple, pear, and apple. Baked alongside a pork loin, quinces are pure heaven. If you cannot find Lady apples, substitute quartered Granny Smith apples. And, if you wish, opt only for one or the other fruit and give it star status.
· 4 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored
· 1½ cups unsweetened white grape juice
· 1½ cups unsweetened apple juice
· 1 lemon zest strip, 3 inches long
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
· 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
· 1 tablespoon minced shallot
· 1 boneless pork loin, 3 pounds
· salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
· 12 Lady apples, unpeeled, left whole and cored through the bottom
Place the quince quarters in a saucepan with the grape juice, apple juice and lemon zest, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the quinces are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook until the liquid reduces to about 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 450 F. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard, rosemary, and shallot. Place the pork in a shallow baking dish or roasting pan and spread the olive oil mixture over it. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
Remove the roasting pan from oven and arrange the Lady apples around the roast. Return the pan to the over, reduce the oven temperature to 350 F, and roast for 15 minutes more. Remove the pork from the oven and pour the quince liquid over it. Arrange the quince quarters around the loin, return to the oven, and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the loin registers 155 F, about 25-35 minutes longer.
Let the meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the fruits and pan juices.
Source: Halloween Treats © 1998 by Donata Maggipinto, photographs by Richard Jung. Used with permission of Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco. Visit www.chroniclebooks.com.
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