Saturday, 14 November 2009

Sloe Jelly with Port.

Oh good Lord, what a day. The weather out there is just foul, earlier on we ducked out into town to buy some football boots for Willow. The walk from the car to the sports shop was about 3 minutes and in that 3 minutes all 4 of us got soaked to the skin. It's cold, it's windy, it's wet. Ugh.

On the bright side, it's perfect weather for locking myself in a warm, steamy kitchen with a bubbling jam pan for an hour or two. I'm experiencing that familiar end of season "Quick! What can I make!" panic, when I frantically scour the hedgerows for the last remnants of wild fruit before retiring til summer. My last minute forage turned up the last few wilding apples still clinging stubbornly to the trees plus a wealth of sloes (not purple bullace). I'm not sure what made me think of adding port, I'd never even tasted it before I bought a bottle last weekend with this recipe in mind, it just kind of sounded right and, luckily, it tastes right too.

Sloe Jelly with Port.
700g sharp, wild apples
300g sloes
sugar and port (see method for quantity)

Roughly chop the apples and throw them into a pan with the sloes. Add enough water to almost cover the fruit. Bring to the boil and them simmer til soft. Strain in a jelly bag (or colander lined with muslin) for several hours. Measure the strained juice and add 1lb sugar and 2tbsp port per pint. Boil til setting point is reached and pot in the usual way. The yield is about 2.5lbs per pint of juice.

I'm very pleased with the final product and judging by the squabbles over who gets to lick the pan, it's going to be popular. The port gives the jelly a delicious sweetness and depth, though I think if I make it again I'd increase the amount of port as it's quite subtle. I'm now vaguely disappointed that I got a chicken out of the freezer for tomorrow's roast rather than mutton as I'm sure it would make an ideal partner for my sloe and port jelly.

Next task - Medlars!


  1. sounds interesting...I just wish I liked port :-(

  2. It's funny I always assumed I didn't like it as I'm not keen on sherry, madeira etc. Not sure what posessed me to try it last week but it turns out I like so - happy days!

  3. For a minute there I thought you'd made something resenbling pink blamange, until I saw the jars in the background...