When it comes to using preserves, jams and jellies for cooking like what I did on this baked pork tendelroin, a lot of people get a bit confused. What’s is the difference between a jelly, jam and preserve? Beginning with the most indulgent, a jelly is a wobbly clear fruit spread made from fruit juice, sugar and sometimes pectin with no solid bits or fibre intact. Jam has the addition of actual fruit pulp and is looser and less giggly then jelly. Finally, preserves have the most actual fruit in them, meaning they tend to be a bit higher in fibre and lower in sugar then the other two spreads. While there is nothing more satisfying then a breakfast bread with a smear of jelly or jam, the truth is, these are still considered “added sugars” and are best used in moderation. But that’s why I especially love to use them in recipes where even small amounts can lend a huge flavour kick.
Desserts with jams, jellies and preserves are easy to free-style- any flavour you like will work beautifully in a sweet bar, cookie, crepe, or cheesecake. But their success in savoury recipes typically depends on the other ingredients. Chicken is lovely with citrus marmalade, duck is delicious with cherry, beef and lamb can handle richer fruit like plums or currants, while pork- well, you can take your pick with pork. The possibilities are endless so I went with a fig on my baked pork tenderloin.
What Jam Works on Baked Pork Tenderloin?
On the baked pork tenderloin I used Bonne Maman’s Fig Preserves because I love the luscious sweet flavour and the satisfying crackle of the seeds. Here I use it in a super simple Fig Balsamic Chili glaze to top a low fat, high protein pork tenderloin. Serve with some roasted heirloom carrots and steamed asparagus, and you have a colourful well-balanced meal.
Balsamic Baked Pork Tenderloin with Preserve Glaze & Caramelized Figs
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add in the olive oil. Season the pork tenderloin generously with salt and pepper on all sides, then sear all over in the pan until golden brown. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, combine the balsamic, Bonne Mamam Fig preserves, and sriracha in a small saucepot over medium low heat until it bubbles and melts down.
- Liberally brush the tenderloin and the quartered figs with the glaze and store any extra glaze. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 145 F- about half way through the cooking process, brush again with the remaining glaze.
- Allow the pork to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the caramelized figs.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.