Gintime Gin Preserves

Autumn is all about stocking the larder for the colder months and gin makes a great ingredient in seasonal preserves. Juliet Lawrence Wilson’s Sloe Gin Mincemeat is a quick and easy preserve to make now and will mature beautifully in time for Christmas.

We like our mincemeat boozy so add a cheeky dash of pure gin as well as the sloe version. The Pink Gin Marmalade uses Pink Grapefruit rather than Seville Oranges and comes out tasting and looking fresh and zingy. This lasts for ages as all preserves should but is really good eaten within a couple of months of bottling.

Sloe Gin Mincemeat

  • 600g dried fruits
  • 100g chopped apricots
  • 100g chopped soft prunes
  • 100g chopped pineapple
  • 100g raisins
  • 150g sultanas
  • 50g candied mixed peel
  • 150g flaked almonds
  • 100g shredded suet
  • Juice and zest of one orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 50g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 150g light Muscovado sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200ml sloe gin
  • Dash of gin

Mix the dried fruits and nuts with the suet and set aside. Mix the orange juice and zest, lemon juice, apple, sugars, spices and sloe gin then stir in the fruit and suet. Leave covered overnight then bottle in sterilised jars. Store in a cool, dark place until Christmas time.

Pink Gin Marmalade

  • 1 kg pink grapefruit
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 litres water
  • 1.5 kg white sugar
  • 100 ml Gin

This will fill about 4 1lb jars, but it is good to have a couple of spare ones just in case or a selection of big and small jars.

First of all give the rinds a really good scrub in some hot water to removes the wax. Cut the grapefruits and lemon in half and juice them. Remove all the loose bits inside but leave the white pith on the peel. Chop the grapefruit into strips. Place the peel and juices into a big pan and pour over the water. Put the pips of the fruit into a piece of muslin and secure with a string and place this in the pan (the pips contain pectin which helps the marmalade set). Bring the contents of the pan to the boil and then simmer gently for about two and a half hours. By this time the fruit should be soft and transparent and the liquid will have reduced by a third.

Take off the heat and add the sugar. Stir and allow to sit for a moment to dissolve. While you are doing this, set your oven to 150C or gas 2. Wash the jars in hot soapy water then rinse but do not dry. Place the jars upside down in the oven and leave them for 30 mins, then switch the oven off and use them while they are still hot. When you take them out of the oven make sure they are not placed on metal – use a wooden chopping board.

Give the fruit a good stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer. You now need to watch out for the setting point. It is difficult to put an exact time on this as it depends on the size and shape of your pan and how much you are making. If you have a sugar thermometer use this and look out for it reaching 106C. Otherwise test for the setting point every few minutes by placing a drop of the liquid on a chilled saucer, place the saucer in the fridge for a moment and then push your finger through it. If it crinkles then it is at setting point. Once this is reached take the pan off the heat immediately. Allow the marmalade to sit for 20 minutes before stirring in the gin and pouring it into the jars. Seal the jars immediately and carefully (because they will be very hot) turn them upside down to create a vacuum in the jar. Allow to cool, then store in a cool, dark place.

Comments are closed.