And what a fantastic year it is this year for stone fruits – damsons, bullaces, greengages, plums, and even the French mirabelle (for more information on this european invader see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirabelle) have all been picked in North Derbyshire this year
What to do with sloes apart from Sloe Gin I was asked – well, like my friend Hilary you could try freezing and then mistaking them for blueberries when making muffins! Steph, my wild food partner, used some to make her hedgerow jam, or you could try the following:
Wild Kissel with Sloes
1/2 pint sloes
1/2 pint blackberries
1 pint elderberries
1 pint water
3/4 lb sugar
1 lev tablespoon arrowroot
3 – 4 tablespoon red wine
wash the fruit and remove stems and stalks. Put fruit into pan with water and suagr. Bring to boil slowley and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15 mins. Pour into basin and stand until cold.
Strain juice from fruits into clean pan, add pared orange peel and red wine and bring slowly back to boil. If wished remove stones from stewed fruit. Squeeze orange and mix juice with arrowroot. Add this to mixed fruit juice and stir until thickens and clears. Remove from heat, remove orange peel and add in stewed fruit and pour into serving dish. Serve when cool, but not chilled.