French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce

Experience a taste of French elegance with our exquisite French Pork Chops. It’s bathed in a luxurious sauce combining the bold flavors of shallots, crisp granny smith apples, tangy cider, and rich heavy cream.

French Pork Chops in a skillet.

Alright, buckle up for a culinary joyride because we’re diving into the world of French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce. It’s the perfect combo of juicy pork chops soaking up the sweet, creamy apple goodness. As the pork chops simmer gently, they absorb all the goodness of the apple cream sauce, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience that’s both comforting and sophisticated. It’s not rocket science; it’s just darn good cooking that turns a regular day into a flavorful fiesta. So, if you’re up for an easy yet impressive dinner, grab your skillet, and let’s get this tasting party started.

Reasons to Love These French Pork Chops

  • French Pork Chops have a rich flavor profile. The combination of savory pork and sweet-tart apple cream sauce creates a deliciously rich and complex flavor.
  • It’s a warm, satisfying meal that’s perfect for cozy evenings.
  • The aroma of cooking apples and thyme enhances the overall experience.
  • These pork chops provide a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs, especially when paired with a side of vegetables or side dishes like our Red-Skinned Mashed Potatoes.
  • Despite its gourmet appeal, the simplicity of this dish makes it a favorite for home cooks of all skill levels.

Recipe Ingredients

French pork chops with applesauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • Boneless Center-Cut Pork Chops: They form the primary component of the dish.
  • Granny Smith Apples: Essential for the apple cream sauce and provide a tart and fruity flavor.
  • Hard Cider: Adds a unique, slightly alcoholic flavor to the sauce that complements the apples.
  • Heavy Cream: Gives the sauce its rich, creamy texture.
  • Shallot: Offers a subtle, slightly sweet flavor that enhances the overall taste of the sauce.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Cheesy Toppings: Incorporate a layer of melted cheese, such as Gruyere cheese, Provolone, Mozzarella, or Swiss cheese, over the finished French Pork Chops.
  • Olive Oil Chic: Opt for extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil, imparting a hint of fruity notes.
  • Crispy Bacon Kick: Crisp up some bacon bits and sprinkle them over the finished dish for a savory crunch, adding a delightful smokiness.

How to Make French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce

Step #1: Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to reach room temperature.

Step #2: Place the walnuts in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Dry-toast the walnuts until fragrant, stir and be careful to avoid burning, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

Step #3: Season the pork chops with salt and black pepper. Rub both sides of each chop with fresh thyme.

Step #4: Heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.

Step #5: Add the butter to the skillet, along with the minced shallots and apples. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the apples have softened.

Step #6: Pour the cider into the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes to reduce the liquid.

Step #7: Add the cream and cook for another 3-5 minutes until thick.

Step #8: Return the browned pork to the pan, turn the heat down to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer until you cook the pork through, about 4-6 minutes. Ensure that the pork chops reach 145 ºF (63 ºC) as measured with a meat thermometer.

Step #9: Serve topped with the toasted walnuts.

French pork chops on a cast-iron skillet with thinly sliced apples.

Expert Tips

  • Shimmering Oil: Wait until the oil shimmers to add pork chops; this ensures a perfect sear.
  • Precise Browning: Brown pork chops for exactly 4-5 minutes per side to develop a rich color without overcooking.
  • Simmer, Don’t Boil: Simmer the pork chops in the sauce on low heat to avoid curdling the cream.
  • Softening Apples: Sauté apples until just softened to maintain their texture and prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Cider Reduction: Reduce cider in the pan to concentrate the flavor for a more robust sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bone-in pork chops for this recipe?

Absolutely! Bone-in pork chops are a great choice for this recipe. They tend to have more flavor due to the bone and slightly more fat, which adds juiciness. Just remember, they might need a few extra minutes of cooking time compared to boneless chops. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure they reach 145 ºF (63 ºC).

Is it necessary to peel the apples?

Peeling the apples is a matter of personal preference. Unpeeled apples provide additional texture and nutrients, and their skins add a rustic look to the dish. However, peeling the apples results in a smoother sauce. If using unpeeled apples, make sure to wash them thoroughly.

Can I use a different herb instead of thyme?

Yes, this recipe is quite versatile when it comes to herbs. Rosemary, parsley, or sage are excellent alternatives to thyme. Each herb brings its own unique flavor profile that complements the pork and apples beautifully. Use them in moderation as they can be more potent than thyme.

Can I bake the pork chops in the oven instead of cooking them on the stove?

Absolutely! After searing the pork chops for a nice crust, you can bake them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C). This method ensures even cooking throughout, especially beneficial for thicker chops. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until they reach the safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Storage Info

Store leftover French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While you can freeze this dish, the cream sauce may separate or become grainy when thawed. For reheating, gently warm the pork chops in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of cream or broth to help the sauce regain its smooth texture. Avoid microwaving as it can dry out the pork and further split the sauce.

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French pork chops with applesauce in a skillet.

French Pork Chops Recipe with Apple Cream Sauce

Experience a taste of French elegance with our exquisite French Pork Chops. It's bathed in a luxurious sauce combining the bold flavors of shallots, crisp granny smith apples, tangy cider, and rich heavy cream.
4.4 from 95 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: French
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 777kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 boneless center-cut pork chops - about 1″ thick
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot - minced
  • 2 granny smith apples - thinly sliced
  • 1 cup hard cider*
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to reach room temperature.
  • Place the walnuts in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Dry-toast the walnuts until fragrant, being careful to avoid burning, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Rub both sides of each chop with fresh thyme.
  • Heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the butter to the skillet, along with the minced shallots and apples. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the apples have softened.
  • Pour the cider into the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes to reduce the liquid.
  • Add the cream and cook for another 3-5 minutes until thick.
  • Return the browned pork to the pan, turn the heat down to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer until you cook the pork through, about 4-6 minutes. Ensure that the pork chops reach 145 ºF (63 ºC) as measured with a meat thermometer.
  • Serve topped with the toasted walnuts.

NOTES

*You can substitute regular cider if you prefer!
Storage Info:
Store leftover French Pork Chops with Apple Cream Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While you can freeze this dish, the cream sauce may separate or become grainy when thawed. For reheating, gently warm the pork chops in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of cream or broth to help the sauce regain its smooth texture. Avoid microwaving as it can dry out the pork and further split the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 777kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 855mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1158IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. I gave this a try last night and was very happy with the outcome! I’m a sucker for a good cream sauce, and this unique one didn’t disappoint. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  2. I am trying new recipes almost every day during these l-o-n-g days of lockdown and very few are mentally graded as 10 out of 10, and then retained for future use. Yours made the cut! I didn’t have shallots so used thin sliced onion but that was the only alteration. This is a delicious meal…and at least in my area of Canada pork is often a less expensive meat these days.

  3. Sooo yummy! Eating the leftovers now!! My husband (who went to culinary school) absolutely loved it. Any ideas how to get the pork chops a little more tender? I did use a thicker cut. Wondering if slow cooking them might help. Nonetheless, I cooked exactly as the recipe called for and definitely adding to my recipe box!

    1. Hi LMik,

      Here are a couple of ideas that I will add to the recipe.
      1. Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you cook them.
      2. When simmering, place a cover on the pan to keep the chops moist and tender.

      – Linda

  4. I rarely comment on recipes but this was seriously one of the best ways to cook pork chops. We order our pork from a farmer in Maine so we have a lot on hand. Followed recipe almost exactly except for Vidalia onion in place of shallot and dried thyme instead of fresh. Also used our own Cortland apples. But the dish was excellent. We all loved it. Thank you !