I love green tomato mincemeat! Unfortunately, the deer ate all my tomatoes a few weeks ago, so I am tomato-less. I'll be making a trip to the farmer's market tomorrow in hopes of finding enough to make a batch of mincemeat.
Don't like mincemeat? I think you might like this because it does not have the heavy richness of real mincemeat, but it's spicy and flavorful. It makes wonderful pies, but my favorite way to use mincemeat is to make little tarts in cupcake pans. I just cut the pie dough out in small rounds, line the cupcake holes, fill with mincemeat and cover with another round of dough. They're pretty and so tasty, and again not as heavy as a slice of mincemeat pie.
My mother told me how to make this. She always made mincemeat pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes as little tarts, sometimes as small pies (think fried apple pies, but not fried--she put tablespoons of dough onto rolled out pie dough, then cut and folded the dough over to make individual pies. Delicious! I used to make apple pies like that when my boys were young). Mom preferred mincemeat with meat, but I like the green tomato version better.
I suppose mincemeat is a British thing, but pioneers and old-time farm people made it too because it kept well and was a sweet treat for winter. I have used honey and sorghum molasses to make mine, but that does change the consistency of the mincemeat, and I found I liked it better with the brown sugar.
The recipe I use:
(You may want to use a food processor to chop the tomatoes and apples--it's tedious to chop them by hand as finely as they should be chopped)
About 20 chopped green tomatoes--sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt and let sit for one hour, then drain the tomatoes,cover with boiling water and let sit for about 5 minutes; drain again.
1 orange--grate the rind and chop the pulp
Mix the tomatoes and the orange in a large saucepan. Then add:
12 apples, chopped fine (peel or not, it's up to you)
1 pound of seedless raisins
1 1/2 cups of chopped suet (I know, I know, sounds weird. I've actually made the mincemeat without it and liked it quite well).
3 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed firmly
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon each ground cloves and nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Cook the mixture until it's boiling hot. Pour into hot sterile jars and seal. Process pints at 10 pounds pressure for 25 minutes. This recipe makes about 10 pints.
You can vary the amounts, add lemon, nuts, golden raisins, etc. It's really up to you; just be sure to keep the proportions of ingredients the same to have great-tasting mincemeat.
Let me know if you try it, and if you like it. And if you have a different recipe for green tomato mincemeat, please share. I'd love to see a different version.