Friday, October 26, 2012

Holiday Pie Filling - Mincemeat with no Meat

Today is National Mincemeat Day!  Lets celebrate!

Now that most of us have experienced a frost or will so very soon, I thought it was a good time to share a holiday favorite in my family. No holiday celebration from Thanksgiving to New Years was complete without a mincemeat pie.  My grandmother was the one for years to make this and most other pies.  She taught me her baking and pie skills before she passed away and I try to keep up with them.

I have many old recipes for traditional Mincemeat that use real meat, but as a modern woman these time consuming recipes are not for me or my modern palet.  I have always used the canned mincemeat filling (None Such Brand) from the store which I know has no meat in it.  I scoured through my recipe books a few years ago and eventually found a book by Martha Stewart that had a no meat mincemeat recipe.  This version is adapted from that.  Since I have gotten back into canning this fall, I decided this would make a great gift for some of my baking friends.  Perhaps you can make a few quarts for your family too!

The recipe calls for green tomatoes, which many people have in abundance now that the tomato season is over with.  You will need to water bath can these ofeter you place them in jars.  10 to 15 minutes in boiling water once the jars of filled and loosly capped will doo the trick.  remember that any lids that do not pop should be kept in the refrigerator,  those that do pop down and seal will keep through the year in a cool dark place.  For more details on canning as well as information on porper supplies and materials, check out the BALL Canning informational website.

No Meat Mincemeat
Makes 8 pints

3 quarts chopped green tomatoes
2 Tbls. coarse salt
2 oranges
2 lemons
1 quart slightly under ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 ½ quarts tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 cups dark raisins
1 1 /2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
¼ cup finely chopped ginger
½ cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 pound light brown sugar
¾ cup cognac

Mix the green tomatoes and salt.  Place in a colander and allow to drain overnight

Using a citrus striper, remove the bright colored skin of the oranges and lemons and save.  With a sharp knife, cut away the white pith and discard.  Chop the pulp coarsely.

Combine the tomatoes, citrus peel and pulp with the remaining ingredients except cognac in a heavy non-corroding saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 3 hours, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Stir cognac into mincemeat. Ladle into hot sterilized canning jars and seal.

So make your own Mincemeat filling this year and enjoy some great pies!

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