Monday, September 15, 2008

Heeeere we go!

4 pound black berries
1/2 pint water
1/2 pound sour apples
6 pound sugar

boil rapidly to setting point, and pour into sterilised jars.

and fingers firmly crossed.

Have also noted that there are lots of sloes this year. They look like blueberries but whatever you do, don't eat them raw. (Actually, now that I think of it, that might make a pretty funny practical joke).

But it is the tradition of this country to make them into hooch.

Good old England.

1 lb. (450 g) sloes
3 cups (710 ml) gin or vodka
1 1/2 cup (350 g) sugar

Wash and dry the fruit, remove all stems, and freeze the sloes for at least a couple of days (not necessary if they are picked after the first frost). Place the fruit in a suitable container, add gin or vodka, and shake twice a week for 4-8 weeks. Transfer most of the liquid to a bottle. Add the sugar to the remaining sloes. Shake twice a day until all sugar has dissolved; this may take up to two weeks. Mix this sweet syrup with the first unsweetened liquid. After three months strain the liqueur thru a muslin cloth. Add some more sugar if necessary. The liqueur should mellow for 6 months before used.

Sloes are the fruit of blackthorn and are actually a wild type of plums. The flavour of the fruit is bitter, so the small plums are not suitable for eating. However, the effect of frost makes them milder. The bitter flavor is lost when making liqueurs.

Sloe gin is traditionally made in Ireland and Britain. Sloe liqueur is also made in Scandinavia, Germany, France and Spain. This delicious liqueur has a flavor similar to plum liqueur and the colour is dark red. It is best served in small amounts as an after-dinner drink with or without ice.


Anonymous said...

Ooo Sloes! We don't have them in America as a rule, but try this:

Sloe and Apple Jelly

12 cups sloes
2lb crab apples
Cold water

Wash you sloes and apples and cut the apples into chunks. Place in pan and pour water over to cover.

Simmer over low heat until fruit is soft and the juice is out. Pour the contents into a jelly bag (Cheese cloth or muslim) and let strain for several hours

Measure out the strained juice and for every 2 and 1/2 cups add 2 and 1/2 cups sugar. Boil together for about 30 minutes, removing scum that may it rise. When setting point is reached bottle and process.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Any idea if sloes have pectin in them?

Anonymous said...

I have already done free plums, pears, raspberries and blueberries. Apples are next week and since our fruit has been rather poor this year as it was cold all summer so I have been thinking of using up the last of the rose petal for Rose Petal Jam.

Have you tried that yet?

Also, have you found Medlars yet?
I have never had them but am terribly curious about how they would turn out.

Anonymous said...

I suspect they do. That recipe is victorian era and she advises it will set with the 30 minutes boiling.

Thanks for letting me enjoy vicarious English style preserving thrills.

Mark S. Abeln said...

Ooohhh, please bring some by next time you are in the neighborhood.

In return, I'll give you my next batch of home-made wine made with native Missouri grapes. It is a very sweet dessert wine with exceptionally high alcohol content.

Anonymous said...

What we Canuckistanis call "Ice Wine".

Anonymous said...

I believe it is only ice wine if the grapes have been allowed to freeze on the vine first, otherwise it is just a regular dessert wine.

Mark S. Abeln said...

We don't have ice wine here, since we don't get even close to freezing by harvest, which happens to be about now.