Friday, 16 October 2009

Green Tomato Mincemeat

We continue to work our way through our heap of green tomatoes. Green tomato mincemeat sounds strange, but it is actually really very good.

Once upon a time mincemeat actually was made with meat, seasoned with sweet spices and fruit. By the 19th century the meat had been reduced to suet. And by the time my generation came along and started cooking, I was not the only one wondering why it should be added at all. Mincemeat is traditionally described as "rich". The other word traditionally associated with it is "indigestible". Leaving out the fat helps with that enormously. Cutting all those raisins with apples and tomatoes also make it less indigestibly intense. I still generally cut up a fresh apple or pear to thin it out a little more when I open a jar to make pie.

These make a nice present, provided the giftee likes to bake.

7 or 8 500 ml jars
2 hours 20 minutes - 2 hours prep time

Green Tomato Mincemeat
14 to 16 cups diced green tomatoes
8 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
1 cup preserved ginger, chopped
3 cups raisins
1 cup mixed preserved peels
1 1/2 cups Sucanat or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 finely grated medium-small nutmegs
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice berries, ground
2 teaspoons pickling salt

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup dark rum or fruit juice
3 tablespoons tapioca or arrowroot starch

Wash the tomatoes, and cut off any bad spots, as well as removing any tough cores. cut them in fairly small dice, and put them in a large canning kettle. You can use tomatoes that have a faint blush to them, but they should be quite firm.

Put the jars into the canner and add water to cover them by at least an inch. Turn them on to come to a boil. When they boil, let them boil for 10 minutes.

Peel and core the apples, and add them to the tomatoes. Chop the ginger, and add it with the remaining ingredients up to and including the salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about half an hour, or until the jars are ready. Stir frequently. We put the timer on and stir it every 5 minutes.

Cover the lids and rings with water and put them on to boil for 5 minutes.

Dissolve the starch in the rum and lemon juice, and mix into the mincemeat until it turns thick and glossy, just a minute or so.

Fill the jars to within a centimetre of the top, wipe the rims, and top with the rims and rings. Put them back into the canner full of boiling water, and boil for 20 minutes.

Remove and let them cool. Check seals, label, and store in a cool, dark place.

One jar will make one pie. As I mentioned, I like to add another large apple or pear, peeled, cored and chopped, when I bake the pie. (Another little slosh of rum will not go amiss either.) Put them in unbaked crusts, and bake at 350°F until they appear done, particularly the crust. The filling is essentially cooked already, after all. Time will depend, but you can expect about 45 minutes for a pie, maybe less if it is single-crust or 10 to 20 minutes for small tarts, depending on their size. If you don't use a full jar, the rest should go into the fridge.

Last year at this time I made Cauliflower & Leek Soup.


K said...

Hi Ferdzy,

I couldn't find your contact info, so I had to send you a private message via this comment section.

My name is Kevin, and I'm an admin for Pho411 ( Pho411 is a Vietnamese restaurant directory, as well as a guide to dining at Vietnamese restaurants in Canada. We recently launched a blog over the summer. Our blog's goal is to review every Vietnamese restaurant in Canada. We've started in Toronto and are expanding to other major Canadian cities. I was wondering if you would consider adding us to your blogroll to help drive visitors to our site, and in return, we'd add your site to our links section?

Pho411 Homepage:
My Email:

Please let me know your thoughts!

Kevin said...

I like the sound of green tomato minced meat. I recently made some green tomato jam and I am itching to use the some more green tomatoes.