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Green Tomato Mincemeat

Green Tomato Mincemeat

Makes about 6 X 500 ml jars Green Tomato Mincemeat is a savvy and delicious way to use green tomatoes at the end of the harvest season: excellent for gift giving during the holidays.
Course Christmas Preserve
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Author Valerie Lugonja


  • 8 cups (2000 ml) cored, quartered green tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) cored, finely chopped apples
  • 2 cups (500 ml) raisins
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dried currants
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) mixed candied fruit
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) candied orange peel
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) candied ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) allspice
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) mace
  • 1 cup (250 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) apple juice
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) brandy, optional


  1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine all ingredients except brandy; stir constantly
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat, boiling gently, stirring frequently for 1 1/2 hours until mixture thickens
  3. Stir in brandy, if using, and remove from heat
  4. Meanwhile, place 6 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C)
  5. Set screw bands aside; heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C)
  6. Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use
  7. Ladle hot mincemeat into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace)
  8. Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more mincemeat
  9. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue; centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim, screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight
  10. Return filled jar to rack in canner; repeat for remaining mincemeat
  11. When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water
  12. Cover and bring to full rolling boil before counting processing time
  13. When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface
  14. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands
  15. After cooling check jar seals: sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed
  16. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars
  17. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired
  18. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place

Processing Time:

  1. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m) process filled jars 15 minutes

Recipe Notes

Just before using each jar of preserves, add the zest of one fresh orange into each 500 ml amount
Add a tablespoon or two of brandy to the preserves just before baking into a pie, a tart or drizzling over ice cream for another festive touch
For best quality, use home canned foods within one year
The Canadian Mincemeat Tart is traditionally topped with a five corner pastry star to represent the North Star that led the Wisemen to the stable where baby Jesus was born. The fragrant spice mixture in the recipe is reminiscent of the gifts to Baby Jesus.