Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What to do with a Gallon of Green Tomatoes

My dear sister in law Julie is a vegetarian. She lives in Albuquerque and I've got to say, I'm a little jealous. Her parents have a cherry tree in their yard. And they get to go to the Balloon Fiesta with ease. Green chile and Sadie's hot salsa are ubiquitous. Julie comes to Atlanta in January for the holiday we call "Thanksmas." It was originally (before school schedules became an issue) the "holiday between Thanksgiving and Christmas for those of us too cheap to buy peak season airline tickets." So, in short, this dish was part of one of our festive "Thanksmas" celebrations. We try to vary what we serve so that it's not identical to either Christmas or Thanksgiving, and given the vegetarians in the audience, we serve an abundance of vegetable dishes.

That said, I'm usually at a loss with what to do with end of season tomatoes on the vine. The weather has gotten cooler, in sort of a roller-coaster sort of way. Today, it's 80; tomorrow it is supposed to be 60. I gathered the remainder of the tomatoes and set out to recreate Julie's recipe.

I used my Cuisinart's slicing attachment to uniformly slice the tomatoes. The recipe calls for a gallon of tomatoes.

I put everything in a really deep stock pot, and it took a few minutes to cook down enough to add all the ingredients. 

Canned for the season

Green Tomato Mincemeat
Makes 6 Quarts
Prep Time: About 30 minutes using Cuisinart for slicing
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Canning Time: 1 Hour

In a large, heavy stock pot, add: 

4 Quarts chopped green tomatoes
3 Quarts chopped apples (peel them or not depending on your preference)
1 lb. dark raisins
1 lb. white raisins
1/4 cup minced citron (* see note below)
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves

Cook over medium low heat for about 40 minutes. The fruit will cook down, so stir throughout the process. 

Prepare for canning. I use http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/detail/TCL+14400214001 Ball Canning's book as a reference for canning. This required a 15 minute water bath after sealing the jars. 

Use as a filling for "Mincemeat" pie. Would also work well as a side dish for a pork roast. 

*Citron is a citrus fruit and if you can find it, great. I used candied lemon peel http://www.paradisefruitco.com/paradise-candied-fruit/lemon-peel because it's what I had on hand. Each year, after the holidays, I buy the candied fruit I use in my Christmas Stollen because it's not available year-round. Plus, on the clearance rack, it's between 50-75% off! It keeps for a year, but use it! 

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