As many who know me well will know I love a freebie and what better freebie than food! Read on to discover how you can make your very own Sloe Jam!
I feel honestly and truly, genuinely upset when I see a free form of food wasted rather than being put to good use. So my goal today is to inspire the use of sloes by all. These recipes have been tried and tested by myself and I’m told by family and friends that they’re lovely so we’ll go with that.
Firstly you need to recognise sloes and the slightly larger damson. Sloe berries come from the blackthorn and when eaten raw are very sour and give almost instant dry mouth however when left to do their magic in gin or vodka they’re …….. well…… magic!
If your local to me I’ve listed a couple of good spots below for Sloe picking. I tend to go with both sloe and damsons and just do a mix of the 2 as they taste very similar.
Sloe Jelly is great coupled with cold meats, cheese, mixed in with gravy to add depth of flavour or just spread on toast ) that’s what my kids love!! I tend to use it in the kitchen in the same way that I would use red currant jelly.
700 g apples eating or cooking but adjust sugar content as per below dependent on what you use
sugar – cooking apples – 700g white granulated sugar for every 750ml of juice
sugar – eating apples 450g of sugar for every 750ml of juice
wash and rough chop apples (DO NOT PEEL OR CORE) place in pan
add water to cover half of the fruit
bring to the boil slowly and simmer until fruit is squishy (technical term!)
pour cooked fruit through a sterilised cloth placed inside a colander (traditionally a muslin cloth but if you don’t have one a cotton pillow case will also work), cover and leave to drip overnight. For a clear jelly do not be tempted to squeeze the cloth as this causes the jelly to cloud.
measure juice and pour into pan adding required sugar.
Heat gently stirring occasionally ensuring all sugar is dissolved before bringing to the boil
boil for 10 minutes then try the cold plate technique to check for setting.
when your happy the set has been reached pour into sterilised jars and store in a cool dry place.
The jelly should last 12 months if left sealed. Once opened use within one week and store in a fridge.
I use the sloes from making the sloe vodka to add depth of flavour to the jelly.
Great local places are Berry Head in Brixham and the fields behind Roselands school in Paignton but don’t forget to leave some for me!