Mincemeat. If I had a nickel for every time that word caused a crinkle of the nose and the familiar question. “What is mincemeat?”
Well, it is a traditionally British condiment that did, in the past, contain either lamb or beef as well as suet. (animal fat). It was an ingenious way to preserve much needed meat rations during wartime and long winters when protein was scarce. Combined with sugar and candied fruit this condiment was a staple in holiday tarts. The traditional Holiday mincemeat pie housed a signature star pastry top and was served during the Christmas season.
This recipe does not use meat. It is a vegetarian version using a base of green tomatoes to begin the sweet and savoury process. It is sweeter than the traditional mincemeat meaning if you had mincemeat at grandmas, this one is going to taste very different. The combination of candied citrus, currents, apples, cloves, cinnamon and allspice make this dish scream holiday season. My mother loves this stuff, and she is the reason I sought out a great recipe to pay homage to her childhood memories.
Using the plethora of green tomatoes Alberta is blessed to produce each year due to a short growing season and quick temperature drops, this mince meat cans well and stores for months. It is a great addition to cookies, tarts and pies. Those who try it, always love it. Don’t believe me? Test it out yourself.
Green Tomato MincemeatPrint This
- 8 cups of fresh green tomatoes diced
- 4 cups of freshly peeled, cored, and diced green apples
- 2 cups of dark raisins
- 1 cup of candied citrus peel
- 1/4 cup candied ginger
- 2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of allspice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp mace
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup of pure apple juice
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1 cup pear or apple brandy
- Place all of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed dutch oven and cook over medium low heat for 1.5 hours stirring often while the mixture thickens.
- Add the brandy and continue to cook stirring consistently for another 1.5 hours until the mixture has thickened and formed a chutney consistency.
- Ladle into 500 ml clean and sterilized canning jars and process for recommended processing time.
- Store in a cool dark place for up to a year.