Grandma Edna Fulford was widowed in 1918, left with two small children and no means of financial support except her own ingenuity and the willingness to help in any way she could in her small rural Indiana community.
Vegetables from her garden and extras from those of her neighbors were often preserved for the winter by canning and drying. When there was a threat of frost, Grandma was eager to harvest anything of her own or others that might be lost. One such item that could be counted on was green tomatoes. There were nearly always more of those than could be used.
Grandma and her neighbors made green tomato relish to can, and there were fried green tomato sandwiches for Minnie's and Sol's school lunch pails. But the special seasonal treat to be eaten when made and canned for later was green tomato mincemeat. (There was no actual meat in it, but that was the name of the recipe.)
There were always apples at the time of the year when the green tomatoes needed to be used, and with the addition of raisins (three cents a pound at Tom Houston's little store) and spices, a delicious pie filling was created.
Yes, Grandma Fulford raised her children in a very difficult time of history, but she made the most of it. And how glad I am that her old recipe for green tomato mincemeat has survived the years so that I now have a good use of my unripened crop when frost is predicted.
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in lard to form coarse crumbs. In measuring cup, whisk together water, egg, and vinegar. Sprinkle over dry mixture and mix with fork to combine. Form into 2 balls.
Cook together tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, salt, and flour, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add apples, raisins, butter, and spices and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Roll out one crust ball and line 9-inch pie plate; trim and moisten edges. Scrape filling into crust.
Roll out other crust and cut designs to vent top. Layover filling; seal edges and flute rim. Brush top of crust with sugar-water and sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie near bottom of oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover edges with pie crust shields and turn oven to 350. Bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until filling bubbles and crust is done on bottom. Remove to cooling rack.
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