Green Tomato Mincemeat

End of the garden tomatoes that don’t quite ripen before the first frost can easily be turned into mincemeat. It’s just as tasty as the real McCoy!


  • 8 cups (2000 ml) finely chopped green tomatoes, about 30 medium
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) finely chopped apples, about 8 medium
  • 2 cups (500 ml) raisins
  • 1 cup (250 ml) currants
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) mixed glacé peel
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) candied orange peel
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) allspice
  • 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup (375 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) apple juice
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) bottled lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) brandy


  • Place 3 clean 1 L mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.

  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.

  • Wash, peel, core and finely chopped tomatoes and apples. Combine 8 cups (2000 ml) chopped tomatoes, 4 cups (1000 ml) chopped apples, raisins, currants, glacé peel, orange peel, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, apple juice, cider vinegar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  • Remove from heat; stir in brandy.

  • Ladle mincemeat into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more mixture. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining mixture.

  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of hot water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process – boil filled jars – 25 minutes.*

  • When processing time is complete, turn stove off, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.

  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.