Sunday, October 27, 2013

Apples, Apples, Apples........

It all started with four boxes of lovely Greenbluff Golden Delicious Apples from Cole's organic orchard. It ended with six apple pie fillings, 5 gallons of dried apples, 4 quarts of mincemeat pie filling and 12 pints of apple butter.  

Where to begin?
With apples, of course, which have to be peeled, cored and sliced.....

For drying, the apples were cut apart in half-rounds and allowed to have a little bath in lemon juice and cool water (about 1/4 c. juice to 1 gallon of water)

Then, they were blotted with paper towels and ready to put on the dryer trays....

where they happily deydrated for about 8 hours until they looked like this.....

and were, subsequently, nestled together in ziplock bags and closed snugly up in a cool, basement pantry until further notice.

For mincemeat pie filling, the apples were, of course minced......

with a lemon and crystallized ginger.....

some oranges, peel and all (no seeds allowed).....

and mixed up together in a roasting pan..... 

with currants and golden raisins.....

sugar and spice and everything nice.....

some butter (or suet, if you can get it).....

and left to stand overnight, covered......


all comfy.....

The next day, it was baked and placed in glass jars and put into the freezer for pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

And there was enough left over bake into a pie for now.....

This, friends, is seriously good mincemeat....without an ounce of meat in it. I remember the mincemeat of my childhood, which I didn't like. It was made from venison. I'm pretty sure I would like venison mincemeat now, but I'm past the stage where I can shoot my own deer, etc. Mincemeat is definitely an adult-acquired taste, I think. And it's really tasty.

Here's the recipe:

Mincemeat Pie Filling - Makes 3 or 4 quarts

10 - 14 Apples
8 oz. shredded suet or 1/2 to 1 c. cold butter, cut in small pieces
12 oz. golden raisins
8 oz. dried currants
3 whole oranges, minced
4 oz. of crystallized ginger or candied orange peel, minced
1 whole lemon, minced
4 oz sliced almonds, minced
2 c. brown sugar
2 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground cinnamon
7 T. good brandy

You may use a food processor or grinder to prepare the apples, dried fruits, candy, nuts and citrus. Hand chopping makes a bulkier and chewier product that is, also, lighter in color. Mix all together, except the brandy, in a non-reactive pan and let stand, covered, overnight. In the morning, stir the mincemeat well and heat for 3 hours at 225 degrees F. Stir a few times while it is in the oven. When all is hot, when the butter or suet is melted, and the mincemeat is glistening, add the brandy and mix in well. Pack in sterile jars and seal, leaving 1 inch of head room. This will keep in the refrigerator for a month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bake according to whatever recipe you like to use. I used a store-bought crust and baked it for 40 minutes at 425 degrees F.


  1. Oh Kathie....I thought I went nuts in apple season! I've never made mincemeat but will give yours a try - glad there isn't venison because I never acquired a taste for it! Your pie crust is just beautiful - mine doesn't even come close! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  2. We did up the pumpkins yesterday.....and the day before. Six little pie pumpkins from Greenbluff and 1 big, white, pumpkin from a friend. She said the white ones make great pie, so I'm trying it out. We got enough puree for 16 Pumpkin Pies!. Some for us and a lot for friends. Thanks for stopping by. Our northwest autumns are a treat, aren't they?

  3. My dad will love me forever if I make him a mincemeat pie. This is definitely the most appealing recipe I have read. I love the flavors of the lemon, ginger and orange. I can't wait to try it. You are one busy lady.

  4. It is really good. You asked about the 6-strand challah braiding, too. If you Google it, you'll see several You-tube videos on it that will help you do it. I have to watch it and learn it every year, all over again, at Easter time. It makes a beautiful loaf, though. There are also instructions for making round loaves. Thanks for visiting! This has been fun.


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