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Gavin Bl

So, sloe

There seem to be an awful lot of what looks like sloes around my way (West Sussex) - looking for recipes, they seem to run to 3

1) Add to gin
2) Make a not very nice jam
3) errr...

Any other things that can be done with the Sloe??

thanks
Gav
judith

Add to gin. Then when you bottle the gin, coat the alcoholic sloes in chocolate.
gil

Make an excellent jelly for use with meats (think cranberry/redcurrant). See Downsizer article on Preserving Wild Fruits for the method for this.

Make wine (also rather good).
jema

Sloe Gin great, Sloe Ginned Sloe Choccies very good.

Wine ok

never been inspired by them for anything else.
dougal

Add to gin. Then when you bottle the gin, incorporate the alcoholic sloes in some form of stuffing for meat. ISTR Clarissa D-W suggesting it for duck.

I'd guess that (after gin) they might be an interesting addition to a game sausage...

Don't see why alcoholic sloes shouldn't be incorporated in a mixed 'hedgerow' jam. (Better than just ordinary sloes, anyway...)

Beware of the stones. They come out a fraction more easily after gin. (For the sloe AND the stoner...)

Has anyone tried putting them through a juicer or a press, to recover the maximum alcoholic liquid?
sally_in_wales

a few fat ones in a hedgerow jelly are good, but not too many. I have it on good authority that sprinkling sloes with brown sugar before dehydrating them makes caremalised sloes to be used as party snacks with drinkies, but havent tried that myself yet. I suppose you'd want the stone out for that which would be a right pain for more than just a few.

If picking sloes before the first frost don't forget to freeze them for a couple of days before using them, makes them taste better
wellington womble

If I gin them, and then put them through a seive, and made jelly do you think they jelly would set, or would it be too boozy?
cab

wellington womble wrote:
If I gin them, and then put them through a seive, and made jelly do you think they jelly would set, or would it be too boozy?


The alcohol will evaporate out when you cook it, so that shouldn't be an issue. Can't immediately see why the pectin would have broken down. Give it a go!
wellington womble

Bugger - forgot about that. I shall have to do serial dilutions putting the gin back in to see when it sets (or doesn't)

When are sloes ripe? Is when they are powdery blue, or when they are shiny purple? There are loads on our regular dog walk, and rubbish at foraging as I generally am, my major competitor is on holiday, so I'm having all the lovely balckberries and sloes really, really early Saturday morning. And I spotted some crab apples!
cab

You're after the berries being a little bit less hard and a good darl colour with a nice bloom. Thats when they're ripe.
wildfoodie

Sloe uses
1 a small handful into a blackberry pie or crumble - adds a bit more of an acidity kick ( freeze first if not bletted)
2 pulped and mixed in with other fruit pulps - blackberry damson,
apple quince to do ... well things you use fruit pulps for - fruit cheeses, leathers, jam tarts etc ( I use no more than a quarter weight of sloe pulp to other pulps or the dry bitter taste prevails. ) Having said that I made a batch of apple and sloe fruit cheese last year and the bitter edge almost completely disappeared after about 3 days.
Not sure why, my guess is that the plant chemical that causes the bitterness in sloes is rendered volatile by prolonged heat? I also made a sloe jelly - not successful; dry and bitter tasting. even tho the sloes had been frozen - which makes me think that the bitterness is more concentrated in the juice of sloes rather than the flesh. Cab? or plant chemisty /biology people out there? whaddya think?
wildfoodie

Quote:
I suppose you'd want the stone out for that which would be a right pain

Hey sally
sounds like a similar problem to olives - provide pip bowls indoors or tell guests to spit if in the garden.... sorts out your party animals from the conservative party people!!! Laughing
cab

wildfood junkie wrote:
I also made a sloe jelly - not successful; dry and bitter tasting. even tho the sloes had been frozen - which makes me think that the bitterness is more concentrated in the juice of sloes rather than the flesh. Cab? or plant chemisty /biology people out there? whaddya think?


Dunno. Makes some sense.
gil

WWomble - I've made jelly with fruit previously steeped in spirits (e.g. seville orange jelly with the fruit left over from orange brandy), and it set fine. Add the juice of a lemon if you're worried about setting, maybe.

Sloe jelly : I've just never had a problem making this, or it being anything other than extremely palatable (and not dry and bitter). I do remember the first time having to pad it out with some crab apples, as I didn;t have enough sloes (which was also a good mix), but since then, I make it just from sloes. But the sloes do have to be fully ripe.
wellington womble

Oooh, Gill, that does sound nice (the oranve jelly!) Is now a likely time for sloes to be ripe? I thoought they were a november thing, but they look ripe now - and there's loads of them.
gil

Sloes probably won't be ripe yet - they're an October thing here, and it's good to pick them after the first frosts. Though if you can't wait that long because of human or bird competition, you can freeze before use. However, judging by this thread being started now, it would seem that sloes in the south may be approaching ripeness. As Cab says, are they slightly softened yet, dark and with some bloom on ?

Sloes are overripe when the skin wrinkles and they go dull purple all over.
Naomi

They are ripe here in Lincs now Gil .
I picked 5lb the other day and there are masses more. It is such a shame their use is limited when there are so many.

I bought some cheap gin so have done a demi john full of sloe gin this year.


I have some sloes still in my freezer too.
gil

Naomi wrote:
It is such a shame their use is limited when there are so many.


Whaddya mean, limited ?!
Only limited by the number of one's spare demijohns (3lb per gallon, or thereabouts) or jars.

They're still green here (as are all the stone fruit)
Naomi

But I am struggling to store and drink all my home brew wines already and I have sloe gin on the go, raspberry and rhubarb vodka, haw brandy and Quarante Quatre to name a few
Anyone would think I liked alcohol Laughing
Spruengli

Sounds great! But - what is 'Quarante Quatre' please? I thought I'd heard of most alcoholic drinks, but not this one... Shocked
Naomi

Jimpy gave me the recipe below .

The quarante quatre 44, is a simple drink, just takes a little time to make

All you need is; 1 large orange, stabbed 44 times in which you place 44 coffee beans, this is placed in a "kilner" jar, together with 44 brown sugar cubes, and filled with 40% alchol pour fruit (available in all good supermarkets in France for 9.99 about 7), this is left for 44 days, before thinking of drinking it

A variant of this is chocolate 44, same as above but instead of the coffee beans, you use 44 pieces of dark chocolate, this needs to be filtered through a coffee filter because the chocolate forms a sludge at the bottom of the "kilner" jar .



It is a delicious drink .If you like coffee/orange liquers you'll love it.
cab

Saw loads of ripe sloes here in Cambs this morning.
Spruengli

Thanks - sounds fantastic, will get some going!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
dougal

There's an amazing number of ripe-looking sloes down here. It seems terribly early. There was a phenominal amount of blossom though...
What's really surprising is that the brambles are only just starting. And the best covered bush of ripe fruit that I've seen was on top of the hills... Confused
gil

When I lived on the South Downs, I remember the sloes being huge, almost like the smaller damsons, and very prolific. I assumed they must like dry chalky soil. But here they grow best by running water.
Gavin Bl

just so I'm clear - this is sloe, right?

there's loads round here, the fruits are soft to the touch, bitter but not ridiculously so - the flesh is greenish, going to orangey in places.

[img][/img]

this is one of the bigger examples - how far of ready is it. There's a light blue covering that comes off when you rub the fruit.

cheers
Gav
jema

I normally struggle for Sloes locally, but this year is an amazingly good crop. Having to slap my wrists and tell myself to wait just a little longer.
Gavin Bl

any chance someone could let me know on the pic I posted above.

Sloe or no? Smile


thanks
Gav
Penny Outskirts

Gavin Bl wrote:
any chance someone could let me know on the pic I posted above.

Sloe or no? Smile


thanks
Gav


Sorry Gav, didn't realise you hadn't had an answer Embarassed yes they appear to be sloes Very Happy
Gavin Bl

thanks alot Penny!

Gil,
I'm just down on the Weald, off the Downs - and they are just everywhere.
JB

Gavin Bl wrote:
thanks alot Penny!

Gil,
I'm just down on the Weald, off the Downs - and they are just everywhere.


I've noticed that down there as well. Everything else seemed to be late this year but the sloes seem to be nigh on ready(*) despite it barely being out of summer. In which case I'll probably be picking some soon as they'll be long over by the time we get around to having a frost.

So how much sloe to how much gin?

* - caveat. Given the time of year is there anything else that they might be rather than sloes?
Bodger

I've got the set of Paul Heiney videos' A Victorian Farming Year'.
If you havent got a copy I think its a must.
We did the recipe that was shown on there last season with good results.
People always said that the sloes weren't ready untill after the first frost but as we live in an area where we literally don't get a frost some years, we simply pick them as soon as they appear to be ripe.
This year there's a bumper crop, just got to drop on the gin now. Very Happy
Gavin Bl

Sorry to take my time getting a decent shot of the berries and the tree.

I squished a berry, it seemed ripe but firm, and popped, the flesh was juicy and a very nice orange/tangerine colour.

Click the image to enlarge....

thanks
Gav



hedgehogpie

That's a Rowan! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Maaaann... You must've been doing an extreme close up 1st time!
Gavin Bl

I posted in the wrong bloody thread! Sorry, derailing my own thread... Rolling Eyes
jema

Well back to Sloes, I have given in and popped out and picked 2lb of Sloes, enough for 2 litres of Sloe gin. I really didn't spend much timne and at all and I think if I was to drag out a helper or two I could pick up in a couple of hours what in previous years has been a massive labour of love. Since Sloe Gin does mature, it really is quite tempting to go totally mad on the Gin making and solve the issue of xmas prezzie for a few years to come Cool
For those worried about the expense, when using a semi-decent Gin, I have never heard of people getting a bad result.[/i]
jema

Laughing Unless I am counting wrong we are now up to 37lb of Sloes in the Freezer Surprised I may go for the round 40lb and start seeing if anyone will discount me some Gin Cool
Penny Outskirts

jema wrote:
Laughing Unless I am counting wrong we are now up to 37lb of Sloes in the Freezer Surprised I may go for the round 40lb and start seeing if anyone will discount me some Gin Cool


40lbs Shocked Shocked

If you do manage to get some discount gin, can I buy litre or two too?? Very Happy Just about to go and pick my sloes too.
jema

Penny wrote:
jema wrote:
Laughing Unless I am counting wrong we are now up to 37lb of Sloes in the Freezer Surprised I may go for the round 40lb and start seeing if anyone will discount me some Gin Cool


40lbs Shocked Shocked

If you do manage to get some discount gin, can I buy litre or two too?? Very Happy Just about to go and pick my sloes too.


Well the more the merrier, that amount of Gin aught to create a bit of leverage Wine
Kinnopio

I've just noticed on ebay that some people are trying to sell sloes! Going rate seems to be around 3-5 a pound, including postage!

Some people are actually bidding for them Shocked
[/quote]
jema

Kinnopio wrote:
I've just noticed on ebay that some people are trying to sell sloes! Going rate seems to be around 3-5 a pound, including postage!

Some people are actually bidding for them Shocked
[/quote]

this year i figure I could pick 4lb an hour easy.

much much quicker than the last two years.
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