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Vanilla Brined Pork Chops with Honeycrisp Applesauce for #AppleWeek

Vanilla Brined Pork Chops with Honeycrisp Applesauce for #AppleWeek! These moist chops and sweet homemade sauce make a wonderful fall dish!

It’s #AppleWeek! This is a multi-blog event, featuring something like 100 amazing apple recipes for your Fall. It’s sponsored by (deep breath) Dreamfarm, Casabella, Rodelle, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Ranier Fruit, Veggie Wash, and Shop World Kitchen! These companies provided product for myself and the other bloggers to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

And we’re sharing the #AppleWeek celebration with you with a MASSIVE GIVEAWAY! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the other amazing recipes, and for the chance to win one of SIX prize packs! I myself am doing THREE recipes this week, so stay tuned!

Vanilla Brined Pork Chops

Robby grew up eating pork chops with (get this): applesauce, cottage cheese, and peas. All mixed together. EW. Needless to say, I did not serve these in that fashion.

These vanilla brined chops are a little more sophisticated than sometimes your regular chops are. It sounds like soaking your protein in salt water would make them salty, but actually it just makes them moist. I’ve recommended 1/4 cup of kosher salt, which in the Morton salt that I have is 62 grams. If you have a different brand, you may want to measure by weight. If you only have a few hours, I would increase the salt to try and get an equivalent brine faster (I haven’t yet tested this, but it seems reasonable).

Additionally, the vanilla is pretty subtle. If you want a stronger flavor, try going up to 2 tablespoons vanilla. I used this gorgeous Rodelle vanilla. (No lie: When I asked Robby to sniff-test this, he took a whiff and said, “I can never go back.”)

These funky measuring cups and spoons are called “Levups” and “Levoons.” The little colored arm on the end can sweep across and level the contents. Cool, huh?

Vanilla Brined Pork Chops with Honeycrisp Applesauce

I used some beautiful organic Honeycrisp apples from Ranier Fruit because I had them on hand, but many people prefer to use a more tart apple. If you do that, I would suggest leaving out or reducing the lemon juice until after you’ve tasted the cooked apples, and perhaps increasing the brown sugar. If it doesn’t taste quite right at first, don’t panic: mine tasted overtly lemony until after it had sat overnight, at which point it mellowed to a lovely balance.

If you’ve never made applesauce before, just think of making mashed potatoes. You take a crisp vegetable (fruit, in this case) and cook it in liquid until it’s mashable. I found that the periodic stirring as it cooked produced a chunky applesauce that I really liked, but you can puree it for a smoother texture.

Recipes very slight adapted from Oui, Chef and the Pioneer Woman.


Vanilla Brined Pork Chops with Applesauce for #AppleWeek

  • Yield: 4-6 chops, 3-4 cups applesauce 1x


  • 46 pork chops, trimmed


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (62 grams)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 star anise, broken into pieces

Spice Rub

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or pimenton
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  • 3 pounds apples, peeled and cubed or sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider, apple juice, or water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Vanilla-Brined Pork Chops

  1. Combine all brine ingredients in a gallon sized zipper bag. Shake a bit until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Use a fork to poke a few holes in each chop. Place pork chops in bag and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 24 hours.
  3. Remove pork chops from bag and dry. Let rest for a few minutes at room temperature.
  4. Combine rub ingredients. Coat pork chops and cook in one of the following ways, until a thermometer measures 145F internally.
  5. Grill: 4-6 minutes per side (longer if quite thick)
  6. Broil: 6-8 minutes per side
  7. Roast: Preheat oven to 400F. Sear both sides of the chops in an oven-safe skillet; then roast for 5-10 minutes.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until apples are fork-tender.
  2. If you like the consistency, leave as is. For a smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor to puree to desired consistency.
  3. Serve pork chops with a healthy serving of applesauce.


Prize Pack #1 from Rodelle:

A baker’s dream come true! This delicious prize pack includes premium vanilla products, gourmet dutch-processed cocoa and specialty extracts.

Items include:

Pure Vanilla Extract, Gourmet Dutch-Processed Baking Cocoa, Gourmet Vanilla Extract, Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Chocolate Extract, Almond Extract, Vanilla Paste, and some fun baking supplies to whip up your next batch of goodies with!

Prize Pack #2 from Dreamfarm and Casabella:

Items include:a 2 ‘n 1 veggie brush
a clip n strip shears
a set up levups
a set of levoons

Prize Pack #3 from Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal:

Prize Pack #4 from Pyrex and Chicago Cutlery:

Prize Pack #5 from Rainier Fruit:

A prize pack from Rainier Fruit including a box of freshly farvested Rainier Fruit apples, a stainless steel apple slicer, apple corer, “Baked with Love” ceramic pie pan, copper apple loaf pan and a $25 Williams Sonoma gift card!

Prize Pack #6 from Veggie Wash:

A prize pack from Veggie Wash

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#AppleWeek Recipes!


Apple Bacon Turkey Burgers from Jonesin’ for Taste
Apple Brickle Mini Tarts with Oatmeal Crust from The Freshman Cook
Apple-Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Apple Cobbler French Toast Casserole from Tip Garden
Apple Fritter Yeast Bread from House of Nash Eats
Apple Oatmeal Coffee Mug Cake from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Oatmeal Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal from Cooking With Carlee
Caramel Apple Nut Bars from Family Around the Table
Cinnamon Apple Cider Sangria from The Redhead Baker
Creamy Maple Gouda Apple Soup with Pecan-Oat Granola from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Healthy Apple Muffins from Caroline’s Cooking
Mulled Apple Cider from Books n’ Cooks
Oatmeal Crusted Apple Stuffed French Toast from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Salted Caramel Apple Cake from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Savory Apple Sausage Tart from The Crumby Kitchen
Swedish Apple Oatmeal Pie with Vanilla Sauce from All That’s Jas
Torta di Mele Sicilian Apple Cake from Girl Abroad


Apple Almond Butter Manchego Grilled Cheese from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Apple Almond Chicken Salad from Books n’ Cooks
Apple Bacon Jam from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Fritter Pie from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Apple Nachos from Simple and Savory
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad from The Chef Next Door
Apple Turnovers from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Applesauce Cake with Soft Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting from Cooking With Carlee
Autumn Apple Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Bavarian Apple Oatmeal Streusel Cheesecake from All That’s Jas
Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Grilled Apple Tossed Salad from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Mini Apple Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping from Family Around the Table
Nutmeg Apple Conserve from Feeding Big
Red Cabbage with Apple from Palatable Pastime
Roasted Apple and White Cheddar Soup from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Sauerkraut & Sausage with Apples from House of Nash Eats


Apple BBQ Meatballs over Brown Rice from Tip Garden
Apple Butterscotch Crumb Cake from The Crumby Kitchen
Apple Cider Donuts from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Apple & Fig Flatbread with Goat Cheese from Simple and Savory
Apple Oatmeal Bars from Palatable Pastime
Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bars from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple Pie with Oat Crumble Crust from The Redhead Baker
Baked Oatmeal with Apple Cheddar and Sausage from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Braised Pork Roast with Apples from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Caramelized Apple Hand Pies from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Cheesy Brie and Apple Pull Apart Bread from Family Around the Table
Crunchy Apple BBQ Pork from The Freshman Cook
Easy Fried Apples With Cinnamon from Feeding Big
Fresh Apple Dinner Salad from Cooking With Carlee
Lamb Lolipops with Apple Herb Chutney from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Roasted Beet and Apple Salad from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Onions from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Slow Cooker Baked Apples from Jonesin’ for Taste
Sweet and Sour Apple Cabbage Salad from All That’s Jas


Appelflappen from Palatable Pastime
Apple Butter Cream Cheese Spread from Tip Garden
Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Macaron with Peanut Butter Buttercream Filling from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Apple Maple Jam from Feeding Big
Apple Yeast Coffee Cake from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Easiest Ever Applesauce from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Grilled Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin from Books n’ Cooks
Grilled Veggie Tacos with Apple Salsa from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Honeycrisp and Gouda Grilled Cheese from The Redhead Baker
Individual Apple Cranberry Galettes with Caramel Drizzle from Family Around the Table
Italian Apple and Fig Polenta Torta from All That’s Jas
Molasses-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops with Apple Butter from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Apples from House of Nash Eats
Roasted Pork with Apple Puree from Simple and Savory
Savory Apple Bacon Pizza from Cooking With Carlee
Slow Cooker Honey Apple Pork Roast From Amy’s Cooking Adventures


Apfelstrudel Recipe (Apple Strudel from Scratch) from House of Nash Eats
Apple and Onion Cornbread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Apple Butter Cheesecake from The Redhead Baker
Apple Chicken Stew from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Apple Dark & Stormy from The Crumby Kitchen
Apple Mincemeat Pie from Palatable Pastime
Apple Pie Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Pie Pancakes from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Apple Praline Bread from Family Around the Table
Apple Stuffing Crusted Pork Chops from Caroline’s Cooking
Apple Walnut Bars from The Chef Next Door
Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts from Jonesin’ for Taste
Battered Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices from The Freshman Cook
Caramel Apple Pull Apart Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Caramel Apple Walnut Bread from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Cinnamon Apple Donuts from Daily Dish Recipes
Diminutive Caramel Apples from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Easy Caramel Apple Butter from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Fast and Easy Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip from Cooking With Carlee
Mom’s Apple Cake from Books n’ Cooks
Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
PB Apple Butter Muffins from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples from Simple and Savory
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples from Feeding Big
Swiss Vegetarian Autumn Lasagna With Apples & Squash from All That’s Jas


  1. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
    October 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I love the addition of vanilla to the brine! As well as all of the great seasonings on the rub. Thanks for linking up on the All Things Apple Celebrate 365 Blog Party!

  2. Geoff
    October 1, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Apple strudel is my favorite

  3. Liz @ Books n' Cooks
    October 1, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Love love love everything vanilla, so I’m super excited about your pork chops. And the apple sauce pairs so beautifully with pork. Definitely making this meal soon!

  4. Susan Moseley
    October 1, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Everything apples, and pork. Yummy. I simply adore all these recipes!

  5. Ruth A McIver
    September 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    As children we ate a lot of baked apples. My Mom sowed us how to cut the tops off and add sugar and cinnamon. Sometime a touch of butter. We baked them until they got hot and the sugar bubbled. Simple but so good. Yes we grew up with apple pies but I always remember those simple apples.

  6. Anita Jude
    September 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I like the Salted Caramel Apple Cake

  7. Heather D
    September 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I like apple pie or cobbler. I also love plain ol’ apples.

  8. Angelica
    September 29, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I love anything apple really! Fritters, pies, apple butter, etc. 🙂 Anything sweet, I don’t like sweet and savory at all.

  9. Melissa
    September 28, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I love my grandma’s Latvian apple cake recipe. It’s full of butter!

  10. Carly S
    September 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I like to make a Waldorf salad with apples in it. 🙂

  11. Surinder Gurm
    September 28, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Apple crisp

  12. danni lynn
    September 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    i like apples in salads

  13. Kathy Eyre
    September 28, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I love Apple Brown Betty (I always add pecans)

  14. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids
    September 26, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Apples and pork are a great combination. I always love finding a new pork chop recipe.

    1. September 27, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I didn’t grow up with pork + apples, but I’m coming around to it!

  15. Wendy Klik
    September 25, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    A perfect Fall dinner.

    1. September 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      I thought so too! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  16. Camilla @ Culinary Adventures
    September 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I have never thought to brine with vanilla. Genius, Katie! I will definitely try that soon.

    1. September 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you! I hope it’s amazing 🙂


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