Mincemeat is something that my mother talks about, back in the days when it really included meat. According to her, it was something close to ambrosia, and a favorite memory. It’s not something that has lived on, I’ve never tasted mincemeat made with meat in the recipe, although I imagine that someday, I’ll try one of those old recipes and make it.
For most of us, mincemeat is Nonesuch brand mincemeat, either the dry little box that you rehydrated or the jar of mincemeat that was merely poured into the pie shell and topped with a crust. Some people love it, others hate it. I guess I liked it, but basically I seemed to regard it as spiced up apple pie with a lot of raisins in it.
This recipe is an old recipe, and twists it up a bit with the addition of green tomatoes. Gardeners are apt to have them in excess on the Gulf Coast this time of year–we’re over due for that first frost that is sure to get those tomato plants! If you don’t have a garden with plenty of green tomatoes, check the produce markets. Green tomatoes are usually widely available there even in early December. (In the Pascagoula, Mississippi area, try Four Seasons Produce on 613 in Moss Point. They had green tomatoes today.) This pie is sure to be a hit with everyone over the holiday season, bringing back memories of pies from long ago. (just as a warning, this is a very ample recipe, handy if you are going to a lot of holiday parties, church suppers, and family dinners. It also freezes well.)
Green Tomato Mincemeat
- 1 peck (12 1/2 lbs) green tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1/2 peck (6 lbs.) apples, chopped fine (try Granny Smiths)
- 1 c. suet, chopped fine
- 5 lbs. brown sugar
- 2 lbs. dark raisins
- 1 tbsp. allspice
- 1 tbsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 2 c. apple cider
Cook tomatoes and salt covered with water. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Drain tomatoes and bring to a boil two more times, boiling the last time until tender. Cool and put through food processor or food chopper until finely chopped. Add rest of ingredients and boil all together for 20 minutes.
Pack into jars, seal and process for 15 minutes at 10 lbs pressure OR hot water bath 30 minutes OR package for freezing in tightly sealing freezer containers and freeze. Mincemeat can also be used immediately for pies.
A pint jar makes a small 8″ pie, and a quart makes a 9″ deep dish pie. Mincemeat pies traditionally will have a double crust, and a lattice crust is a very nice touch. Brush top crust with a beaten egg mixed with 1 tbsp. water (its enough to coat MANY pies) and sprinkle lightly with sugar for an old fashioned look.
This filling also makes excellent miniature pies (pies made in a muffin tin) as well as fried pies (pies shaped like a half moon and then fried in a skillet with about 1″ of hot oil, just until golden brown. Brush pies with a glaze made from 1 c. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. milk, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla, stirred until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add milk, a few drops at a time, until it is the consistency of thick gravy. Let glazed fried pies cool on a wire rack with a tray to catch dripping glaze.