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Pork and apples are a classic pairing, especially in Irish cooking. For this recipe, I roast the apples and use agar to turn them into a pudding to top the pork. The pudding can be made several days in advance and reheated before serving. I sous vide the pork so it's extra moist and tender but you can roast or grill it if you prefer.
Pork is great at many different temperatures depending on your personal preferences. I started out eating it at 135°F (57.8°C) but I've slowly moved to 140°F (60°C) for most of my cooking. Many people enjoy it anywhere between 135°F to 149°F (57.8°C to 65°C) so feel free to experiment and see where you like it best.
Also, if you are just getting started experimenting with molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine then I highly recommend one of these molecular gastronomy kits. They have everything you need to do many different dishes.
Because they use modernist ingredients, these amounts are given in metric by weight. For more information on how to measure modernist ingredients check out this article.
Heat a sous vide machine to 140°F (60°C).
Combine all the spices in a bowl and mix well. Salt and pepper the pork then coat with the spice rub. Place the pork in sous vide pouches, seal them, and place in the water bath. Cook the pork for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove the pork from the sous vide pouches and pat dry. Quickly sear the pork in a pan over medium-high heat, until just browned. Remove from the heat. Cut into servings.
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
Toss the apples with the thyme then place on a roasting pan or in a roasting dish. Salt and pepper them. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until very soft. Remove from the heat.
Combine the roasted apples, apple cider, and agar then blend together until smooth. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Pour the roasted apple mixture into a container and let it set completely. Once set, puree it well with an immersion or standing blender.
Place a piece of cabbage on a plate and top with a piece of the pork. Add a dollop of the apple pudding then sprinkle with some thyme leaves.