Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sloe Gin Jelly

Apparently today is Gin Day, and so I thought I would let you know a good idea I had a few weeks ago. Last year we found a large stand of Sloe bushes, and had our eye on them all through autumn, just waiting for the first frost. Unfortunately many other people (or perhaps birds) had the same idea, and when we got to the sloe bushes, there weren't many left. We persevered, and with a bit of jumping (to catch the high branches) and several scratches, we came home with enough sloes to make a bottle of sloe gin. I'll post the recipe when we make another batch this year, but you basically add sugar and gin to your sloes after pricking the skins, and leave them to soak for several months.

We'll be having some of this this evening to celebrate Gin Day (as though we need an excuse!).
 Our sloe gin was stewing away in the back of a cupboard, and a few weeks ago I decided it might be a good idea to filter and bottle it, ending up with a couple of lovely looking bottles of sloe gin (the little bit we sampled was gorgeous!), and a sieve full of sloes pickled in gin. I looked at these, and couldn't bring myself to throw them away, and that's when inspiration struck - I had a batch of cooking apples in for another batch of jelly, and thought why not use these lovely gin-infused fruit to make some jelly - worst case scenario was it would be a waste of an apple and some sugar, and best case I would have discovered something really special and different. Turns out it was a great idea, and the resulting jelly has a lovely delicate taste. If you're making sloe gin this year, I would recommend this as a way of getting the most out of your sloes.

Ingredients :
- drained leftover gin-soaked sloes
- cooking apple(s) chopped (don't bother peeling or coring them)
- sugar
- water
- sterilised jam jars

Put your leftover sloes into a pan, together with a couple of apples (I used about half as much apple as sloes). Cover with water, and bring to the boil. Simmer until the apples are soft and virtually disintegrating. Allow to cool a bit, then strain through a muslin cloth. Discard the fruit pulp that remains and measure the drained liquid. Add about 2/3 the volume of sugar (ie for 600ml of juice, add 400g sugar), and return to the heat. Bring to a rolling boil, and continue to boil until the jelly reaches setting point (test by dropping a few drops onto an ice-cold plate, or resting your spoon on an ice-block and seeing if the drops/liquid in the spoon solidify). Cool slightly and then pour into the sterilised jam jars.

Now you just have to decide whether to keep it all for yourself, or give some away to deserving friends!

No comments:

Post a comment