Posted on 08 November 2010 by

Alternative to Ripening Green Tomatoes

green-tomato-chutney-001By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

For whatever reason my garden this year is full of green tomatoes.

Tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and varieties have come to a ripening stand still it seems.

And as the taste of fall seems to fill m plate my tomatoes seem not to care.

I plan when cooler temperatures approach my garden to pick and store what is left of m crop but until that happens I am planning on using them to make a holiday treat.

This treat is one that you either like or don’t. It seems to be an acquired taste that helps use up so many loose ends that I have in m garden and in my dad’s orchard. The favorite dish I refer to is good old-fashioned Mincemeat Pie but instead of using store bought mincemeat I am making Green Tomato Mincemeat.

The recipes below appear the same but the difference is the use of lemon or orange rind and the amount that is produced. So if this is something you would like to try pick the recipe that works with what you have in the garden and in your kitchen.

Green Tomato Mincemeat I

Yields 8 pints or enough filling for 8 eight-inch pies


  • 3 Quarts coarsely ground green tomatoes
  • 3 Quarts peeled, cored, coarsely ground apples
  • 1 Cup suet
  • ! Pound seedless raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons each grated lemon and orange rind
  • 5 Cups well-packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ Cup vinegar
  • ½ Cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 Teaspoons salt

Mix all ingredients in a deep kettle. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring often. Lower heat and simmer until the mixture is thick and dark in color. This will take about 2 ½ hours. During this cooking process continue to stir often to prevent scorching.

Once mixture has cooked about 2 ½ hours fill pint jars to within a half-inch from the top and seal. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes.

Green Tomato Mincemeat II

Yields 7 quarts

  • 6 Pounds ground green tomatoes
  • 6 Pounds apples, peeled, cored, and ground
  • 6 Pounds raisins
  • 1 Pound suet, ground
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon salt
  • 6 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 Teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 Teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ Cup lemon juice
  • 3 Pounds brown sugar

Place all ingredients in deep kettle and cook about 2 ½ hours or until thick and dark in color. Stir often to prevent mixture from scorching. Once mixture is done pour into sterilized jars and fill to within a half-inch from the top. Seal and process in a hot water bath for 25 minutes then remove jars to cool.

Green tomatoes open up many unexplored culinary doors. And while many may associate tomatoes, red or green, with side dishes they also make beautiful desserts.

So until we blog again, may the green in your garden, turn red with the touch of late summer’s lips. And the end of a great holiday or Sunday afternoon dinner, be graced from unripen fruit from Mother Nature’s plate.

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