Pork loin recipes are your secret for main dishes made for celebrations. This cut of pork takes well to being filled, as is the case in the recipe below with a fig and apple stuffing.
Fruit-Forward Fig + Apple Stuffing for Pork
Fruit has a long history of being a friend on the plate with pork. It’s almost as though they bring out their best qualities as is the case for the apple stuffing for pork in the recipe below.
In terms of which kind of fig to use, we suggest Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice Golden Figs, which add a delicate tangy sweetness to the stuffing especially paired with apples. You could also try using Mission Figs instead with their familiar fig flavor and earthy sweetness.
For the apples, we suggest looking for tart apples. Some of our favorite picks would be Granny Smith, Gravenstein, or red Jonathan varieties of apples. Together the apple and figs make a sweet and tart filling ideal with the savory pork.
You’ll cook the figs and apple cider to soften the figs. It also results in a cider syrup that is delicious spooned over the final dish. Once the figs soften, you’ll trim off the stems from 8 figs and cutting the figs into 1/2-inch pieces.
The apples get sauteed with onions and olive oil. Then, the garlic, sage, and seasoning is added in before the figs get stirred into the apple stuffing for pork.
Pork Loin Recipes
A well-trimmed boneless pork loin has had the log narrow strip of meat called the tenderloin removed. The resulting roast measures only about 3 to 4 inches in diameter and 12 or more inches long. This is the cut that is required for this roast and other pork loin recipes too.
Since the pork loin will be filled with the fig, apple stuffing, you’ll use eight (18-inch) lengths of cotton string to cinch the pork loin so it holds tight and that filling stays in the middle. Before filling the pork loin, you’ll use a thin sharp knife to the pork lengthwise down the center, three quarters of the way, so it can be opened like a book. Then, you’ll season the pork loin.
Next, you’ll evenly spread half of the fig apple stuffing for pork in a thick layer over the bottom portion of the pork, folding the top portion over the bottom. This is when you will firmly tie off the pork in evenly spaced segments.
This is also the time to tuck in any filling that has snuck out.
At this point, you’ll sear the pork for a few minutes on both sides. Then, dollop any fig apple stuffing for pork around the loin. You’ll sear the pork before it goes in the oven.
Cooking the Pork
Place the Dutch oven in a preheated oven to roast for 15 minutes before pulling it out and carefully turning the loin over to go back into the oven to roast for another 10-15 minutes.
The best way to tell if a pork loin is done cooking is to jab the thickest part of the meat with a meat thermometer. The pork is done when it registers 135ºF since there will be carryover heat while the pork rests.
Prep the Pork for Dinner
Once the pork comes out of the oven, you’ll transfer it to a cutting board, tented with foil to keep it warm. Transfer the fig apple stuffing to a serving dish.
Reduce the remaining apple cider, wine, and apple cider syrup. Season to taste and serve with the pork.
California Dried Fig and Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce
- 12 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs left whole with stems attached
- 3 cups apple cider
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 cups onions cubed
- 2 cups cooking apples peeled, cubed, Jonathan, Gravenstein, or Granny Smith
- 1 tbsp garlic coarsely chopped
- 12 tbsp fresh sage coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 boneless pork loin roast untied
- 1 cup fruity white wine Pino Gris or Riesling
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice optional
- Combine the figs and 2 cups of the apple cider in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil. Cook, covered, over low heat until the figs have softened and all but 1/4 cup of the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Boil, uncovered, to reduce any excess liquid. Cool the figs in the liquid; then strain, reserving the 1/4 cup of cider syrup. Set aside 8 whole figs. Using kitchen scissors, trim the stems from the remaining figs and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and apples and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of the sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cut-up figs. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Cut eight 18-inch lengths of cotton string. With a thin sharp knife, cut the pork lengthwise down the center, about three-quarters of the way through, so it can be opened like a book. Season the opened pork with a sprinkling of salt and a grinding of black pepper.
- Spoon about half of the apple-fig mixture in a thick layer over the bottom portion of the pork, spreading it evenly. Fold the top portion of the pork over the bottom. Slide the strings under the pork, evenly spaced, and tie them firmly but not too tightly. Tuck any stuffing that escapes back into the roast. Rub the remaining 1/2-tablepooon sage and a generous amount of salt and pepper over the outside of the pork.
- Heat a Dutch oven or other large, heavy ovenproof pan over medium heat until it is hot enough to sizzle and evaporate a drop of water. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the pork and sear it on all sides until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat, and spoon the remaining apple-fig mixture around the pork.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and carefully turn the roast over. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the pork registers a temperature of 135ºF, 10 to 15 minutes more. (The internal temperature will rise as the pork rests out of the oven.)
- Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the roast to a cutting board, and tent it with foil to keep it warm. Spoon the apple-fig mixture into a serving dish and cover to keep it warm.
- And the remaining 1 cup apple cider, the wine, and the reserved 1/4 cup apple cider syrup to the pan. Heat to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil until the mixture is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Taste and add lemon juice if desired, and salt and pepper if needed.