The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Rozanne Hall’s green tomato mince filling and crumb topping recipes

a handful of our green tomatoes on our tabletop

Our green tomatoes for this recipe

For the past few weeks I have been having interesting email conversations with Rozanne Hall from America.

Rozanne was a war baby born in the UK. Her father was a Canadian Army engineer serving in England and the continent who met her mother in Surrey, who was from Cork, Ireland. Rozanne grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has lived in Oregon, near the California border, for over 25 years.

Rozanne and her husband had a large garden in their Oregon home for years and now have a new (hobby) hay ranch where they have cattle, horses and chickens. Rozanne wrote,
“I love making lots of things – seedless blackberry jam, chili sauce, mince filling from green tomatoes, pickled beets, to name a few.”

With a large harvest of green tomatoes I was very interested in the green tomato mince filling.

Rozanne explained that this is a sweet filling.
“This filling can be used in cookies or squares or just served warm over ice cream, but I personally mainly use it in pie. My husband loves it for Thanksgiving or Christmas especially, and my daughter-in-law just requested it for her birthday next week”.

Rozanne generously agreed to share her recipes and I have put the American/European coversions below.

Rozanne Hall’s mince filling recipe
(sometimes called mincemeat still even if there is no meat)

Mix together:
6 cups (1 kg) chopped, peeled apples
6 cups (1 kg) chopped green tomatoes (don’t peel)

4 cups (800 g) light brown sugar
1 and 1/4 cups (300 ml) cider vinegar
2 cups (300 g) golden raisins (regular ok)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

“Bring gradually to a boil, in a large pot, and simmer for three hours, stirring often. Add 1/2 cup (115 g) butter and mix well. Then put in jars and process if you wish for 25 minutes. (I assume you don’t need directions for that part.) I usually put in pint jars (UK 1 pound jars), not quite full, and freeze, since I have freezer space and I don’t make a huge amount of this. It makes about 5 pints (UK 6 jars). Each pint is enough for an 8 inch pie. I usually just use a single crust and put my crumb topping on top.

Sometimes I chop the tomatoes, even the apples, when I have them, but no time, and freeze the chopped products and later thaw them out and make the recipe.”

The crumb topping sounds delicious too. Here is the recipe.

Rozanne Hall’s crumb topping recipe

Blend with fork:
1 cup (230 g) soft butter or margarine
2 cups (200 g) flour

2/3 cup (50 g)coconut
1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
1 cup (120 g) chopped pecans or walnuts

“Use to cover thickened pie filling in an unbaked pie crust and bake at 425 degrees (220c / 190c fan) for at least 20 minutes. You can use over any cut up fruit with no crust if you wish.

I usually double this and keep it in a ziplock bag in the freezer so I always have some on hand.”

For conversions between American/UK
This site is the best on the Internet. Great for converting volumes (cups) of different ingredients into the equivalent weight.

N.B. We have a great green tomato chutney recipe.

  Leave a reply


  1. We have lots of green tomatoes and apples so this sounds great. Can you use it right away or does it have to be left to mature for a bit?

  2. What with all the green tomatoes this year, I’m definitely trying this recipe…. sounds yummy. Not quite sure what is involved in the 25 minute processing stage so I guess I’ll just put it in the jars once they’ve been sterilised and see what happens.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sarah,

    Rozanne lives in Oregon!

    The mincemeat is delicious. I do hope that it works well for you too.

  4. Here in Oregon we need recipes for green tomatoes! I plan to try the mincemeat recipe later this week. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Thanks Pat, for the fried green tomatoes rceipe. They sound great!

  6. Fiona, Take your tomatoes and slice them, kinda chunky. Then I dip in flour then egg and then in polenta(the closest we have to cornmeal over here) and then fry in a nonstick pan with a bit of olive oil. If you want the really traditional ones then it must be bacon drippings you fry them in. YUMMY!!! Turn ever so often so they don’t burn. They are done when the outside is crispy and the inside tomato part is soft.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Celia,

    I totally agree. Immediately the nights start to draw in I want to be making preserves and wonderful suppers and more!

    We were talking about Rozanne’s recipe at work today. On this building site, I’m the only woman. Quite a few asked me to write down the address of this site. They grow the tomatoes, they were determined to cook the green tomato mince.

    Hi Pat,

    Over in our UK cottage we only heard about fried green tomatoes when the famous movie hit our screens “ many yeas ago and we still didn™t know what to do with them!

    Hi Danny,

    You never told me about eating cobra! The green tomatoes must have made it palatable

  8. Danny Carey

    Hi Rozanne – thank you very much for converting Fiona to the joys of Green Tomatoes! I spent three months in California in the days before I met the Cottage Smallholder herself, and there I was introduced to G.T.
    Prior to that I had been always told that they were poisonous, and perhaps they are if eaten raw. I come from County Cork, where the only greens we consumed were cabbage and spring onion shoots 🙂
    The first time I was offered a pepper stuffed with the dreaded GT in CA, I did not know what the filling was, merely that it tasted scrumptious. Can you imagine being told that the tasty morsel you have just consumed was belly of King Cobra? Well, that was akin to my reaction. But, as nobody at the party was dropping dead from GT OD, I tried some more and grew to love the flavor.
    Many thanks and looking forward to hearing more “weird American recipes!”
    I never made it as far north as Orgeon – only got as far as Russian River, but a visit to your neck of the woods is definitley on my list of Things To Do Before I Die.

  9. Thanks Rozanne and Fiona, but used up my green tomatoes making fried green tomatoes.

  10. We have apples, we have green tomatoes – what a perfect recipe for this time of year! Thank you Fiona and thank you Rozanne.

    In fact, I think autumn is when it feels natural to get down to baking and cooking. All those lovely ingredients – nuts and fruits. Things to eat when the nights start to draw in (the hens are going to bed at 5.45pm!!!!!) and things for the store cupboard and to share with friends.

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