About this recipe:It is possible that you have tried sloes in gin, but have you considered making them into jelly? Sloes are wild food hedgerow gems, which look like small plums or blueberries. They are inedible when they are raw, but when cooked they have a great flavour which is perfect for jellies, jams and cocktails. Look for sloes after the first frosts in November and remember to take a pair of gloves with you when you go picking as the blackthorn bush has many long thorns.
Wash the sloes and place them in a preserving pan and add just enough water to cover. Mash them very gently, just enough to spit the fruit to release the juice. Cook over a low heat for 1 to 2 hours until the sloes are broken down and mushy.
Transfer the sloes to a jelly cloth and suspend over a clean preserving pan overnight, allowing to strain.
The next day, squeeze out any remaining liquid in the jelly bag and discard the contents. Weigh the liquid and record the measurement.
Refer to the recorded weight of the liquid and add an equal amount of sugar, dissolving over a medium heat. Bring the contents of the pan to the boil and begin testing for the setting point by dropping a small amount of jelly onto a cold plate. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it is ready.
Skim the jelly if necessary and transfer to sterilised jam jars. Leave undisturbed for 48 hours in a cool, dark place to ensure a good set.