Thank you Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance for providing complimentary activities and lodging to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. #FLX #FLTA
A sweet and flavorful apple butter BBQ sauce atop pork tenderloin, grilled to perfection.
I recently went on an awesome road trip. It was over 30 days, and one of our stops was the Finger Lakes Region of New York. I have been posting about the trip over on Travel Parent Eat, and while I have not gotten to the individual posts about our stop in the Finger Lakes yet, it will be up soon. Be sure to check it out. But here is a quick overview of our time in the Finger Lakes. And if you are planning a trip to the region, be sure to check out the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, and let them help you make your plans!
Our trip to the Finger Lakes Region of New York was absolutely amazing. Punctuated with the great flavors and foods, and interspersed with learning and play.
We got to take a glimpse at the study of play at the The Strong National Museum of Play, and while visiting got to climb rock walls, explore our favorite childhood books in life size, see a butterfly exhibit, play vintage video games, have a Dance Dance Revolution Battle, try our hand at being checkers at Wegman’s a grocery chain in NY, and so much more.
We stayed at the lovely Country Inn and Suites, and enjoyed a complimentary breakfast, cookies at check-in, and a lovely pool.
We visited the Rochester Museum and Science Center where my children got to invent a device to hold a sensor in a wind tunnel (tornado), got to watch a musical production using Tesla coils and lightening, rode bikes to run lights, and got to discover how the locks on the Erie Canal work. The place was seriously cool.
We visited the JELL-O Gallery and got to learn about the history of that jiggling treat, as well as see fun relics from JELL-O’s colorful (and flavorful) past. Who knew there was coffee and chocolate flavored JELL-O at one point?
We slept soundly, and thoroughly enjoyed late night pancakes, and a large breakfast, as well as a great indoor pool at the Holiday Inn Express Geneva Finger Lakes!
We enjoyed cold pressed juices, apple picking, and learning about running an orchard at Red Jacket Orchards, and wished we lived in the North East so we could pick up the amazing Lemonade and other cold pressed juices at our local grocer.
We fed goats, and tasted cheeses at the Lively Run Goat Dairy.
We relaxed, swam, played on a playground, roasted hot dogs, and made smores in our cozy camping cabin at the Cheerful Valley Campground.
We got to take a ride on the Colonial Belle, and learn of the Erie Canal’s rich history and see the various bridge types that span the canal.
I could have easily spent all 30 days of our trip exploring and enjoying the Finger Lakes Region of New York, and will most definitely be back! It is both family friendly and fun. During the visit we got to explore so much of the beautiful Upstate New York area, but one of our favorite stops was Red Jacket Orchards.
It was awesome. It is a family owned and operated Orchard, that grows apples, berries, currants, plums, cherries, peaches, and has the largest apricot orchard in the East Coast. They offer fresh fruits and produce, as well as a line of cold pressed juices, and pantry items at their Farm Store. I got to tour the juicery, and see their process for bottling the cold pressed juice. My kids got to explore the orchards, and pick some apples. And the Kelli (their director of marketing) sent us home with several of the amazing pantry items, including jams, sauces, and butters (like apple butter)!
Today’s recipe features that apple butter! Oh my! So very good. I never know quite what to do with it. I love it on toast, and mixed in oatmeal, and the like, but I wanted to share the glorious flavors of this insanely good apple butter with you guys in a unique way. You may remember my Blueberry Chipotle Pork Tenderloin from a while back. It was amazing. And so I thought it would be fun to create another BBQ sauce using the apple butter. And I am so glad I did. I found this recipe from Tide and Thyme, and put my own spin on it.
Oh my gosh you guys! To say it was delicious is a total understatement. The BBQ sauce was full of rich and complex flavors. The tartness from the apples, melded well with some sweet brown sugar and molasses, and a touch of harissa gave it a very mild heat that was absolutely to die for. I will definitely be using this BBQ sauce again, on chicken too!
But on the pork it was killer! As I have mentioned before, when I grill meats I usually reserve the adding of any sauce until the last little bit. The burning point for sugar is lower than the heat point needed to cook the pork to an internal temp of about 150 degrees (my preferred temperature), so by adding it last I get the amazing flavors, without much char. So keep that in mind.
And when cooked properly, you get moist, succulent pork, topped with this flavorful BBQ sauce, and garnished with fresh chives. Are you drooling yet? You should be. Did I mention this whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes? Yep! Which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight meal, or ideal for company, as it will be a real show stopper with bold, bright flavors.
Mmmm mmmm mmmm.
- ½ cup Red Jacket apple butter
- 2½ Tbs brown sugar
- 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbs molasses
- ½ tsp garlic granules
- ¼-1/2 tsp harissa (adjust according to heat preference)
- 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
- Mix together BBQ sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove pork tenderloin from packaging and sprinkle salt generously over the entire tenderloin
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow to come to room temperature.
- Heat grill to 350 degrees.
- Grill for 10 minutes
- Flip, and grill until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F (approximately 5 more minutes, depending on thickness of tenderloin)
- Brush BBQ sauce over the pork, and cook for a few more minutes until temperature reaches 150 degrees F.
- Remove from grill, add additional BBQ sauce, and cover with foil.
- Let rest for 5 minutes
- Slice and serve!