The Urbane Forager

Winter Recipes

Sloe Gin (

  • Pick enough sloes to half fill a clean Kilner jar, about 1lb.
  • Prick all over and put in jar with 4oz granulated sugar.
  • Seal jar and leave for 3-4 days, shaking jar twice a day.
  • Fill jar with gin and stir well.
  • Seal and leave for at least 6-8 weeks, gently shaking jar from time to time.
  • Strain through muslin into clean bottle.
  • It improves with keeping, but is very good after just a few months for the weak willed. Recipe provided by Margaret H

Sloe Wine (C J J Berry's First Steps in Winemaking).


  • 3Ib sloes (about 2 x those supermarket clear bags used for fruit full!)
  • 1/2Ib raisins
  • 3Ib sugar
  • 6 pints water
  • wine yeast - 1 sachet
  • yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme
  1. Boil the sloes in the water.
  2. Add the raisins and mash them well.
  3. Add 2Ib sugar and heat - not to boiling - for just over half an hour.
  4. Leave to cool and add pectic enzyme.
  5. Cover with tea towel and leave for 24 hours, then add yeast and yeast nutrient.
  6. Cover with tea towel, leave for 10 days in warm room, stirring every day.
  7. Add remaining sugar (1Ib) and strain into demijohn with airlock.
  8. Leave to ferment and bottle when wine is clear.
  9. Unfortunately, the wine needs about a year to mature before you drink it!

Sloe Wine 2

  • 1.5 kg / 3lb Sloes
  • .25 kg / 1/2lb raisins (or 140ml 1/4pint red grape concentrate)
  • 1.5 kg / 3lb sugar
  • 3.5 litre / 6 pints Water
  • Yeast and nutrient
  • Pectic enzyme
  1. Place the sloes in a bucket or bowl and pour over them the boiling water.
  2. Mash the sloes well, adding the minced raisins or concentrate.
  3. When cool, add the pectic enzyme.
  4. 24 hours later add the yeast and nutrient, 2lb sugar.
  5. Cover with a cloth and ferment in a warm room for 10 days, stirring each day.
  6. Add remaining sugar strain, and pour into fermenting jar, topping up to bottom of neck with cold water. Fit an airlock and leave in a warm room for four weeks to ferment.
  7. Taste, if too bitter, a little more sugar can be added.
  8. Refit an airlock and store in a cool place to clear for a few weeks.
  9. When clear, bottle and store for at least a year before use.

STILTON & QUINCE PATE - Revd Canon Gary Philbrick. Vicar of Swaythling, Area Dean of Southampton.

  • Stilton
  • Quince conserve
  • Cream
  • Yoghurt
  • Seasonings
  • Mix together in appropriate quantities
  • Serve on toast or with fresh bread.

Simple and lovely - pinched from the Wykeham Arms in Winchester in the late 80s!
Quince Jam (Conserve) Recipe 

  • 6 cups (packed) of quince, rinsed, grated (discard cores, leave peel on), from about 2 lbs of quince (about 5 quince)
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 cups sugar


  • Prepare the quince by washing and cutting in half. Working around the core, grate the quince flesh (including the peel) with a cheese grater, until you have about 6 cups of grated quince.
  • Put water in a large, wide, thick-bottomed saucepan (6-8 quarts) and bring to a boil. Add the grated quince, lemon juice and lemon zest. Reduce heat and simmer until the quince is soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and bring to a boil again. Stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Lower the heat to medium high. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until quince jam turns pink and thickens to desired consistency, about 30-50 minutes.
  • Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars* and seal. Before applying the lids, sterilize the lids by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Wipe the rims of the jars clean before applying the lids.
To sterilize the jars, rinse out the jars, dry them, and place them, without lids, in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.
Makes about 5 half-pints.
Sloe Jelly - Pat O'Dell (
The quantity of sloes or apples can be adjusted in proportion with each other as to how tart you like the jelly. I like it with a punch.
  • 2lb sloes, trimmed and washed
  • 1 lb of cooking apples, cut into quarters
  • Juice of one lemon
  • sugar
  1. Prick the sloes with a needle and put them in the pot with the apples.
  2. Cover these with cold water and then add the lemon juice.
  3. Bring to boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour or until the fruit is soft.
  5. Every so often, using a wooden spoon, bash the fruit into the pot.
  6. Strain the pulp in a jelly bag for at least 12 hours.
  7. Measure the amount of juice and return this to the pan.
  8. Add 1 lb of sugar (I usually use half jam sugar and half granulated to ensure a good set) for every pint of pulp juice.
  9. Dissolve the sugar in the juice over a low heat.
  10. Then bring to the boil for the next ten minutes, without stirring.
  11. Test for the setting point by placing some of the mixture on a plate and running your finger along the mixture, when ready, it should form a skin and wrinkle.
  12. Ladle into clean, hot, dry jars.
You should get about 8lbs. 
Sloe Chutney - Pat O'Dell ( )

  • 1lb Sloes for a tart taste 3/4 for a sweeter taste
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1lb raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of hot chili powder
  • 2 inch piece of fresh root ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 12 cloves
  • juice and grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 1lb of soft brown sugar
  • 1 pint of organic white wine vinegar
  1. Put the ingredients in a large cooking pot and stir, using a wooden spoon.
  2. Bring to the boil and stir occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers, stir occasionally, for 3 hours or until it is thick.
  4. Ladle into clean, warm jars.
  5. Cover, label and leave in a cool place for a couple of months.

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They will be added as soon as are able.

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