Posted by: zebe912 | March 1, 2008

Frugal Foodie: Apple Dinner

Madame Frugal Foodie challenged us to create dinner for two, using apples, for under $7. I made this twice during February, once to try via the original recipe, found on Allrecipes, and then again to make it “my way.” The original recipe for “Herbed Pork and Apples” called for a 6 pound loin roast. So I adjusted and simplified to cook a 1-2 pound tenderloin. Here are my results.  This is going to become a regular part of our recipe rotation.

Herbed Maple Apple Pork

* 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
* salt and pepper to taste
* 2 TBSP apple juice

* 1-2 pounds pork tenderloin
* 2 apples, cored and cut into eights
* 1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
* 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1/2 cup apple juice
* 1/3 cup real maple syrup

1. In a small bowl, combine the sage, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix in 2 TBSP of apple juice. Using a fork or cake tester, poke holes in tenderloin. Pour spice mixture over meat and rub to make sure all surfaces are coated. If possible, cover & marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight.

1. Chop all additional ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
3. In a medium bowl, mix apples and onion with brown sugar. Spoon around roast.
4. Mix apple juice and syrup, then pour over the meat and the apples, Cook until the internal temperature of the roast is 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Transfer the roast, apples and onion to a serving platter, and keep warm.
5. To make the sauce, pour pan drippings into a small sauce pan. Skim off extra fat if necessary. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until liquid has been reduced by half. Slice the roast, and serve drizzled with sauce.

I served this with homemade spaetzle (German Dumplings) adapted from my Betty Crocker book.

2 eggs, beaten slightly
1/4 cup milk or water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper

1. Fill a large sauce or stock pan with water or chicken broth & heat to boiling.
2. Mix all ingredients to make a thick batter.
3. Press a few tablespoons of batter at a time through a colander, potato ricer, or spaetzel maker, into the boiling water & stir once or twice to separate & prevent sticking.
4. Cook about 5 minutes or until spaetzle float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with margarine. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until batter is used up.

For dessert we had apple dumplings. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of these.

Easiest pie dough:
(this makes two crusts)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
5 TBSP COLD water

1. Measure dry ingredients into food processor
2. Stir oil and water together in a separate bowl.
3. Blend wet and dry ingredients until crumbly.
4. Roll out into appropriate size on a well floured surface.

I made a half batch of dough, which was just barely enough to make three dumplings:
3 apples, peeled & cored, but not sliced
3/8 cup white sugar (That’s also 6 TBSP)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 TBSP margarine or butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 F or 200 C.
2. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, cinnomon, nutmeg & butter. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Cut pie dough into three pieces and roll into small circles. Wrap each apple in dough and place in a small baking pan (a large loaf pan or 8×8 square works well).
4. Pour sauce over apples.
5. Bake for 30 minutes (or until golden brown), spooning syrup over them half way through.

These reheat pretty well, and are really yummy with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Price breakdown:
Pork tenderloin: $3.30
Apples: .20 x 5= $1.00 (I buy three pound bags of small macs)
Onion: .25 (I buy in bulk)
Apple Juice: .50 max
Eggs: .20 x 2=.40
Maple Syrup: free to me, but probably $1 for the rest of you
Flour, butter, sugar, & spices are all staples in my kitchen

$6.45 plus some change for the staple ingredients. We got two meals out of the meat and the spaetzle, plus one leftover dumpling.



  1. Yummo! I starred to try this recipe soon!

  2. I just made it again for my mom & dad to try. My dad was excited just to see the plain pork tenderloin, so hopefully he likes it cooked & with flavors. Anything using our homemade syrup is usually a hit around here though 🙂

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