There is no single best apple to bake with pork chops. Choose a variety that offers the flavor and texture characteristics you want.
Consider using two types of apples in the same dish, such as golden delicious for its sweetness and soft texture, and granny smith for contrast.
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Sweet apples offer a juicy complement to pork's savoriness. Pair them with spices such as cinnamon or cardamom to add complexity.
- Golden Delicious have a soft flesh and thin skin that makes them ideal for baking. When cooked, they take on a creamy texture that complements the meatiness of pork.
- Cameo apples are hybrid of red and golden delicious. They have a thicker skin than their golden cousins, making them hold their shape during baking.
These middle-of-the-road apples offer enough tartness to cut the fattiness of pork, but retain some sweetness as well.
- Cortland has a creamy white flesh that becomes soft during baking. It pairs well with caramelized onions as a topping for pork chops.
- Jonagold is a thinner-skinned variety, which gives you the option to mash it after cooking for a rustic sauce or leave the apple slices whole.
- Braeburn apples are firm and crisp, with a balanced flavor between sweet and tart.
Apples with a pronounced sharp or tart flavor pair well with the richness of pork chops.
- Granny Smith is the most well-known of the tart apples, and the least sweet. Chefs often pair it with brown sugar to balance its astringency.
- Lady Williams is a hybrid variety, possibly related to granny smith and Jonathan apples. It is more balanced than granny smith, but still distinctly tart.
- Melrose is another well-balanced variety, descended from golden delicious and Jonathan. It holds up well to cooking without loosing its tart character.