Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 20, 2010

More Holiday Pies

I was poking around in my cookbooks and on the interweb looking for the green tomato mock mincemeat pie recipe I wanted. Every single version I found was wrong. What is up with people posting the wrong recipe, right there on the interweb? That just seems mean to me.

This is a production, but it can be done waaaay ahead. Even without the freezer, this filling keeps in the fridge for 3 weeks without any issues.

This is enough for two 8 inch pies. So if you don’t want some for the freezer, make only half.

Green Tomato Mock Mincemeat

1 grapefruit

1/2 cup + 2 TBSP sugar

2 1/2 lbs of green tomatoes

1 TBSP salt, plus more for seasoning

3 cups of cider

2 1/2 lbs tart, crisp apples, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

6 TBSP butter or Earth Balance sticks

1/2 lb raisins (or sultanas if you have/like them, or currants–same strictures)

Zest and juice of half a lemon

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1 cup brandy, creme de cassis, grand marnier or whatever you have on hand (whiskey or bourbon included) that seems OK to you

To make the candied grapefruit peel: Peel off the skin from the grapefruit and snack on the citrus while you work. Slice the grapefruit skin thinly. Put it in a pan, cover with water by one inch. Bring this to a boil, drain off the water and repeat the procedure twice (you’re drawing off the bitterness of the peel). Now add the sugar and the same amount of water. When it comes to a boil, lower the temperature under the pan to medium and let it cook, stirring occasionally. It’s done when there’s hardly any liquid left  in the pan.

Meanwhile, chop the green tomatoes and layer them in a colander in the sink with the TBSP of salt sprinkled over them. Let them drain for about an hour. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and cover them with boiling water for five minutes. Drain them for another five. Now they go into the big, heavy bottomed non-reactive pan.

Also while the peel is candying, put the cider in a small saucepan and bring it to the boil. Cook it down to about 1/4 its original volume. Add this to the big pan.

Put everything from the apples on down into the big pan. Add the chopped candied peel, and whatever candying liquid remains. Bring this mass to a simmer, lower the temperature and let it continue to simmer, with occasional stirring, for a couple of hours. It should be shiny and not particularly wet–though still with individual color apparent in the ingredients. Don’t forget to check the seasoning for salt. It should have a very slightly savory character–since it used to be made with beef heart and suet.

Voilá! Add a couple more tablespoons of your booze of choice before putting half of the filling into a pie shell. Mince pies are often lattice topped, but they’re equally fine with a full double crust, depending on your confidence with handling the dough and how much time you have for fiddling with weaving it.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Slip a cookie sheet under the pie tin, reduce the heat to 350°, and cook for another 40 minutes. Allow this to cool through–about two hours. It’s rich and yummy with hard sauce or whipped cream (or ice cream), or a glass of stunning port.


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