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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sloe biscuits

When I make sloe wine, I leave the fruit in until I'm ready to bottle and drink it, as for sloe gin. This year, I thought it would be a shame to throw out the fruit when I'd finished, but couldn't think of anything to do with it, so I pushed it through a sieve to make sloe pureé, and put in a couple of jars. With the high sugar and alcohol content, I wasn't too worried about it going off.

Sloe pureé

That was before Christmas and I still hadn't thought of a use for it, though as expected, it's kept well. Then I came across this recipe for sloe biscuits. It uses fresh sloes and a dash of sloe gin, but it should adapt easily enough. I even had half a bag of medium oatmeal lurking at the back of the cupboard.

I would have liked to include ground, foraged hazelnuts, but when I cracked the remains of a big heap of nut shells that I gathered over a year ago, it yielded five nuts, of which three were about the size of apple pips. I put a couple of tablespoons of ground almonds in instead. The tweaked recipe ended up looking like this, with ingredients added in the order listed:

  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 100g white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200g medium-fine oatmeal
  • 250g salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sloe pureé
  • 2 teaspoons syrup from jar of stem ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

My biscuits took a bit longer to cook than the recipe said, and even longer because I kept opening the oven door to check how they were doing. That might have been because the mixture was a little too wet. Anyway, when they were finally cooked, the finished biscuits were excellent.

Sloe biscuits

You wouldn't know they had sloe and ginger in if I hadn't told you. Even Ian likes them, so don't tell him what's in them, will you?


  1. I'm thinking that sloe must be a common plant in Britain. I'd never even heard of it until CatMan and I read the Harry Potter books. Of course we read them in Spanish, and the reason sloe sticks out in my mind is that I must have looked up the word a hundred times.

    I guess when you don't have any frame of reference for the English word, it's pretty hard to get it's Spanish translation to stick in your brain. I swear we must have had the following exchange at least a dozen times.

    Me: What does 'endrino' mean? I know we've looked it up a zillion times...

    CatMan: It means 'sloe'

    Me: Oh, right. What does 'sloe' mean?

    CatMan: Like sloe berries, they're used to make gin.

    Me: Oh, right... I don't think I've ever had gin.


    Anyhow, your cookies look delicious!

    1. Hahaha, yes, I can see that would be a challenge. If it helps, the sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn tree (well, it's more of a shrub), which is similar to the hawthorn, which is also known as may, the flowers of which gave their name to a famous ship.

      To complicate matters further, gin is not made with sloes, it is flavoured with juniper (that is the only fact I know about juniper). Sloe gin is a liqueur made by pouring gin over sloes and sugar then straining off the sloes a few months later. Since I object to buying an alcoholic drink in order to make an alcoholic drink, I start with sloes, sugar and yeast, and ferment it to get the alcohol. I don't know how similar this is to sloe gin, since I've never actually tried sloe gin, in spite of its popularity amongst hedgerow foragers.


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