Pork Chops with Fried-Apple Cherry Chutney

The apple is a symbol of many things, including lust, prosperity, growth, good aim, beauty and health.

Called the “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of Eden, when the serpent tempted Eve to just take one taste of the delicious, sweet, juicy fruit she couldn’t resist. She took just one bite and the rest is history.

Apples have been incorporated into many fine works of art. “Still Life with Apples” by French painter Paul Cézanne is well loved, and Belgian artist René Magritte placed an apple over his face in his self-portrait, “The Son of Man.” 

The 17th-century mathematician Sir Isaac Newton formulated the law of gravity while watching an apple fall from a tree. Legend has it that the apple actually fell onto his head.

William Tell performed a daring feat of marksmanship by shooting an apple off his son’s head with an arrow — a stunt that has been repeated many times. A most unfortunate failed replication took place in 1951 when American writer and visual artist William S. Burroughs tried to shoot an apple off his wife’s head using a pistol. He missed, killed his wife and was convicted of manslaughter.

John Chapman – also known as Johnny Appleseed – was an American pioneer who traveled throughout the present-day states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois, making it his mission to share the goodness of apples with the men and women of the frontier by planting apple trees and creating nurseries and orchards. His lifetime of devotion and hard work established an apple crop that’s responsible for the prevalence of apples in the Midwest today.

We’ve all heard the adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” These nutritional powerhouses – especially when consumed raw with the skin on – are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids (powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune-system benefits), and fiber, states Medical News Today. I prefer my apples dipped in a bit of peanut butter – yum!

Apples are the cherry on top of the sundae (so to speak) as the bountiful and delicious icons of a Door County autumn. Come fall, the cherry orchards of summer give way to their crisper, bigger fruit friends. Door County is blessed by all things cherry and apple. 

Orchards are family-run operations passed down through the generations. They require plenty of hard work, which can be extremely rewarding when all things come together; but they also present many challenges such as late-spring frosts, hailstorms, heavy winds, too much rain, not enough rain – and the list goes on. 

Mostly, though, Door County’s climate is just right for apples, so our orchards produce bountiful crops of many varieties. The most popular are the Honeycrisp, Cortland and McIntosh. Whether you pick your own or stop by one of the many roadside stands, I encourage you to add local apples to your life: eat them often, and share them with family and friends. And the fresher, the better – you will not match the taste of freshly picked apples anywhere.

Pork Chops Finished with Fried-Apple Cherry Chutney

Serves 4


4 thick-cut, bone-in pork chops 

kosher salt and pepper to taste

maple syrup 

Grill the pork chops. (I prefer charcoal barbecue for flavor. Before grilling, I dry-rub kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on the chops.) Place them on the grill on medium-high heat. Cook for approximately five minutes per side. (Adjust the grill time based on the thickness of the chops.) Just before you remove them from the heat, brush the chops with a smidgen of maple syrup, then allow the heat to caramelize the meat, 1 to 2 minutes. 


Make the chutney in conjunction with the chops; it may lose its texture if it’s made ahead of time.

2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp butter

1 sweet onion, thickly sliced

3 tart apples, core removed, sliced in crescents 

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ cup dried cherries

¼ cup raw pecans (optional)

1 tsp fresh thyme

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes until they’re translucent. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the one tablespoon of butter and the apples. Pan-fry the apples with the onions until they begin to brown. Add the mustard and stir. Turn off the heat, and add the dried cherries, pecans (optional) and thyme. Cover and let sit off to the side, allowing the flavors to meld.

Mashed potatoes and rice pilaf pair beautifully with this meal.

Baked Stuffed Apples – Sweet or Savory

This dish offers a great way to put on your experimental hat in the kitchen and have some fun. These individual servings of artful delight can be made as a main dish, a fun dessert or a complete breakfast meal. The flavor and texture of apples are the perfect accompaniments to so many delicious things, sweet and savory, which explains why they’re an integral ingredient in stuffing, oatmeal, pie and so much more. Baked, stuffed apples offer everything that we love about apples in individualized servings. 


Each of the following concoctions will stuff one cored apple; one apple is one serving. Adjust the amounts accordingly for multiple apples.  

Remove the core of the apple, except for the bottom ½-inch. They will bake in an upright position, and this creates a cavity to stow the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. The apples will ooze during the baking process, so line your baking pan with parchment paper to save on clean-up later. Cover the apples with foil, and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. 


Apple Pie à la Mode

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

dash of nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

vanilla ice cream

dash of cinnamon

1 tsp brandy (optional)

Mix the butter, brown sugar, brandy (optional) and nutmeg together. Place the cinnamon stick in the apple cavity, then surround it with the butter and sugar mixture. Before serving, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the apple, and sprinkle with cinnamon!

Honey Chèvre 

1 Tbsp chèvre

1 Tbsp cream cheese

1 tsp honey

Mix or whip together the two cheeses and honey. Stuff the mixture inside the apple, drizzle honey over the cheese and bake.

Oatmeal Inside Out

¼ cup raw oats

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp maple syrup, plus more to taste

1 Tbsp pecans or walnuts, finely chopped 

1 Tbsp raisins

sprinkle of cinnamon 

sprinkle of nutmeg

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stuff inside the apple. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top of the apple. If serving for breakfast, add a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt.

Sausage Inside Out Stuffing

1 breakfast sausage, cooked and diced 

1 tsp onion, finely chopped 

1 tsp panko or breadcrumbs, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

maple syrup

Mix all of the ingredients together and stuff the apple. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top.