When we bought the farm there were three ancient pear trees there. They had been very neglected and we were only able to save one. It is a Kiefer and this year it had a bumper crop. Kiefer pears get ready for picking in the fall and have to sit a week or two or three to get ripe after harvesting. Mike and I brought home a bagful a couple of weekends ago. Something needed to be done with them today.
Pear Mincemeat is my great-grandmother's recipe. I was off at college before I learned that mincemeat originally had meat in it! We never had any kind but this.
When I was a child my Mom always used this to make a bar cookie called Mincemeat Diamonds. Those were some of our favourite cookies. I also have a recipe that calls for topping sweet potatoes with mincemeat that is quite tasty, and this can certainly be used for mincemeat pie.
Three main ingredients:
Fruit all ground and in the pot
After cooking for a bit
Packaged and ready for the freezer
7 pounds pears
1 pound raisins
3 pounds sugar
1 Tbsp plain salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp allspice
1 Tbsp ground cloves
½ cup cider vinegar
Core and quarter pears. Seed and quarter lemons. Do not peel either fruit. Put through food grinder along with raisins.
Combine all ingredients in large pot over medium heat and simmer until tender and darkened, stirring occasionally. This might take as little as 45 minutes or as long as a couple of hours, depending on the type of pears, how juicy they are, the pan you use and how hot the fire.
When mincemeat is done, pack into pint jars, seal and process 30 minutes in boiling water bath canner.
1. I chop everything in batches in the food processor. If you do that, be sure to leave the fruit in little chunks. You don't want it to be puréed.
2. Normally this is canned, but today I packed it in quart bags for the freezer. All my canning equipment is at the farm and we are in town.