Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sloe Jelly

I don't think I've ever seen so many sloes around. The gin is maturing nicely at the back of the cupboard and I've still succombed to the temptation of picking them.

I once made a sloe cobbler by accident, well when they are frozen they look very much like large blackcurrants! That is not a mistake I will make again - now I label bags of fruit  but my guests were very nice about it!

So no more cobblers. I cams across a recipe for sloe jelly the other day so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never done this before so it is a bit of an experiment.

My jelly bag will take up to 4lbs of fruit and coincidently that is about the weight of the sloes I have!


  • 4lbs of sloes
  • 1pt of water

First pick over the sloes removing any withered ones and any stalks and leaves. Place is a large pan  ( I used my preserving pan with a pint of water and cook gently for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is soft and the juice flowing.

Place the pulp in a jelly bag and leave to drain through- I left it overnight. Although it is very tempting to hurry things up by pushing it through with a spoon this will give a cloudy jelly. You need patience for a nice clear sparkly one.

It does look a bit Heath Robinson - they've changed the style of the stand and the new bags don't fit! The juice was worryingly cloudy even without squeezing but I decided to carry on.

 Once the juice has been collected, add 4lbs of sugar and boil until setting point is reached. Pour into warmed sterilised jars and cover and seal. This was where I started to worry about my recipe. I had just over 1pt of juice and 4lb of sugar seemed far too much.

I decided to revert to the more usual 1pt of juice to 1lb of sugar and I'm very glad I did! No idea what was going through the head of the original recipe writer unless they had jam using the whole fruit in mind? Well whatever. 

The  revision worked brilliantly and I now have two jars of  delicious sparkling dark red jelly. I was expecting the astringency of the sloes to come through but it really doesn't ( I sampled a bit when testing for the set!).

I will definitely be doing this again!
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