Leg of Pork with Cider and Cream

James Beard

Author and Educator

"All of our apple states—New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington—have traditional dishes using cider, apple juice, and applejack. This is much like the food one finds in Normandy, where cream as well flows into the good cookery. This roast appears to be a combination of both domestic and Norman dishes."

–James Beard


  • Leg of pork, about 10 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Nutmeg and a little ginger
  • Cider
  • 1/3 cup applejack
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Beurré manié (butter and flour kneaded together)
  • 2 egg yolks


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Rub the roast well on all sides with the salt and spices. Place it on a rack in a baking pan and roast, allowing about 25 minutes per pound, until an inner temperature of 145ºF has been been reached. Baste the roast often with warm sweet cider. About 20 minutes before the roast is to come out of the oven, flame it with the applejack.

Remove the roast and keep it warm on a hot platter. Skim off most of the fat from the pan juices and measure 1 cup of juices. Combine with 1 cup heavy cream and heat in the pan. Add beurre manié and thicken to taste. Mix the remaining half cup of cream with the egg yolks, and stir well into the sauce. Do not let it boil after adding the egg yolks. Correct the seasoning and add a touch powdered ginger. Serve in a sauceboat.

Mashed potatoes, green peas, or a purée of carrots and sautéed apples are the traditional accompaniments. The roast is also delicious eaten cold.


12 servings