Monday, June 29, 2009

Green Tomato Mincemeat for Pies

Grandma Elva in Egypt (not that camels have anything
to do with mincemeat!)

Most "mincemeat" pies don't contain meat, although some do. Many are a mixture of dried fruits and a little brandy or other liquor. The only kind of mincemeat pie I have ever made is this one, which comes from my Mom, Ben's Grandma Elva.

This recipe sure does make a lot, but I guess when you have a garden full of green tomatoes and a frost is coming you are happy for any recipe that uses them up. You could certainly make just a fraction of this recipe, if you wish. Or you can just go ahead, make the whole recipe, use up all your green tomatoes, and freeze this by the quart for future pies and/or gifts.

5 lbs. green tomatoes
8 lbs. tart green apples (like Gravenstein, or Granny Smith)
2 lbs. seedless raisins
3 lbs. brown sugar
6 tsp. salt
2 cups cider vinegar
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. each nutmeg and cloves
Juice of 2 lemons and one orange
2 tsp. grated orange and lemon rind.

Quarter the tomatoes. Quarter the washed and unpeeled apples, and remove the cores. Grind together, draining off some of the apple juice if you wish.

Put all contents into a large pot. Cook slowly for 45 minutes. Cool thoroughly and freeze in quart containers.

Optional: Add a small can of crushed pineapple, a small can of grapes, and a dash of brandy to each quart.

Thaw and warm the mincemeat before using for pies. You can make the pie with a full double crust or with a lattice-top crust. Bake at 400˚ for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Note: I am sorry to say that Grandma Elva's recipe does not indicate how many quarts it will make, nor does it indicate how much mincemeat you would use for a pie. My guess would be that 2 quarts would be enough for one large pie and a smaller one (or some turnovers).

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