I love books, in particular second hand books. Not only can you find some real gems that are no longer published but also they often contain notes in margins, newspaper clippings and in some cases recipes.
Recently a client gave me an old rather battered copy of ‘The Popular Encyclopedia of Gardening’. There is no publishing date, but, I would guesstimate around the 1930’s (judging by the photographs). Nestled within the pages of this rather weighty tome I found the following recipe* for “Styrrup Cup”.
So if you still have Sloes, it would seem, you still have time to make this tipple for Christmas.
Styrrup (or Stirrup) Cup
1lb sloes 8 oz sugar 1 Quart** gin
Remove stalks and leaves wash and place in pie dish
Cover with sugar and cook for an hour or two in the lambing oven***
mash occasionally to encourage the jam
When the jam is quite cool mix together with the gin in a large bowl
Pour the liquor into kilners
Keep for two to three weeks in the pantry**** before sieving and straining through muslin
* Whose recipe this was is not known, the book belonged to my client’s Grandfather but apparently the writing is not his.
** 1 Quart = 2 Pints.
*** think this might be the bottom oven of an AGA type range cooker.
****if no pantry available, I have no doubt any cupboard would suffice.