Do not be tempted to drink all your sloe gin at Christmas, leave some for the Rye News annual sloe gin competition for amateur homemade brew in March.
It strikes me that it’s a shame to bin your gin-soaked sloe berries once the sloe gin has finished infusing. Much better, I think, to turn leftover sloes into chocolates, jam, chutney, or use gin soaked sloes instead of raisins when baking.
Remove any remaining pips and stones from your berries, lay them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, and dust with cinnamon and orange zest. Melt good-quality chocolate and pour over the berries until well coated. Leave to chill in the freezer until they’re set.
Put the gin-soaked berries into a big pan and just cover with water. simmer for about 20 minutes and them mush up. Allow cooling a bit then pressing through a sieve to get out the stones – a bit messy but it smells good! if it is really thick throw in a bit more water.
Weigh the sloe sludge and pour into a clean pan, add 100g jam sugar for every 100ml of sloes, and boil up gently until it reaches setting point!
Ingredient: sloes, chopped onions, brown sugar, seedless raisins, whole cloves, malt vinegar.
The sloes could make a rather good sloe trifle
Image Credits: Simon Kershaw.