Sloe foraging is a rewarding pastime for those in the know.

Do you know what a Sloe is? Do you know what one looks like or why you might want to seek them out? Gayle Palmer explains more…

A Sloe is a small wild plum. Unlike most plums the small purple fruit with a blue bloom to the skin is not usually ripe until later in the Summer. 2017 though has caused them to ripen about 6 weeks early though! Be wary though – although they look delicious they are actually very bitter – like a lemon – and the juice will make your mouth and lips screw up!! (It’s a good joke for the un-knowing!)

supersloes

The Sloe is know by its Latin name of Prunus spinosa (as they protect their fruits with sharp little spines!). They are the fruit of the Blackthorn tree which is commonly found in the hedgerows, particularly in West Sussex and causes the clouds of white blossom in the Spring.

Whilst the fruit when fresh it is pretty inedible, but once they are fully ripe (hint below to help the juice come out better is below) they can be turned into the most wonderful Sloe – Gin, Vodka, Jelly, Jelly Cheese or even syrup!

Sloe Gin is my favourite.

So how do you identify them?

Watch the video via Facebook for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/ChichesterSelfCatering/videos/1631732823551576/

sloesbushes

Usually the fruits are not ready to be picked until October and are said to be best after the first frosts! The easiest way to force them to give up their flavoured juice, or to pick them and then use them when you have time (vs immediately) is to remove the stalks and any leaves / debris and then freeze them whole! DO NOT take off the yeast bloom on the skin surface, it is needed later.

Have you seen a “Super Sloe”?? Video here

We have monster sloes nearby the houses!! So much quicker to pick!

RECIPE for SLOE Gin or VODKA or BRANDY or WHITE RUM!

  • Put the sloes once cleaned in the freezer, twice. Allow to defrost, then freeze again OR prick each sloe a few times with a fat pin. Mind your fingers! These measures allow the juice to run.
  • To a pound of sloes (450g) you will need about 3-4oz of sugar.
  • In the bottom of a clean bottle put in an inch layer of sloes, add a small amount of castor sugar.
  • Continue until 3/4 full.
  • Fill bottle with the spirit of your choice. Seal.
  • Store in a cool, dark place and shake gently or invert every few days for at least 6 weeks for the best results.
  • After 3 months of “stewing” it is ready to decant off the sloes from the liquor with a muslin sieve into a clean, sterilised bottle. Seal and then label.

Decorated nicely these make excellent Christmas presents.

Top tip: Drink in small glasses with cheese and biscuits or add to some bubbly.

Depending on the juice content of the sloes so you will need to add more or less sugar, and it depends on your own taste – whether you want more of a syrup or not.. Experiment!

If you liked these videos and ideas about wild foraging why not SHARE them with your friends on the various social media channels? Thanks!

© Chichester Self Catering.com 2017

Tags: , , , , , ,


Phone Number

Call Gayle Palmer to make your booking on ++44 (0) 7769 746113

E-Mail Address

Latest Articles

Facebook Feed

Twitter Feed

Pinterest Feed

Send me an email here...

  1. (required)
  2. (required)
  3. (valid email required)
  4. Captcha
 

Address

Living Elements
1, Keynor Lane
(Opposite the School)
Sidlesham, Chichester
West Sussex
PO20 7NL

News & Special Offers

Special Health Offer

Living Elements Clinic Logo

When you make a booking reservation and it is confirmed, you will receive a 10% discount voucher on all initial consultations at the Living Elements Clinic, subject to availability, during your stay. All appointments must be pre-booked and paid for please.

Social Networking Links

ChiSelfCatering on Twitter

Please join me and keep in touch with special offers etc. or see what is going on locally.