Sloe and Apple Jelly and Sloe Jelly

I was writing about gin yesterday, and mentioned that I really don’t like it, except when it’s made into sloe gin. Later I began to wonder if sloes could be made into anything else; they are so small and so sour, and there is so little actual fruit per sloe I couldn’t imagine that they were good for anything much. However, on consulting Ethelind Fearon’s little book, Jams, Jellies and Preserves, I found two recipes:

Sloe and Apple

  • 4 lbs apples, roughly cut up without removing skins
  • 2 lbs sloes, pricked all over
  • 6 lbs sugar
  1. boil apples and sloes together until done
  2. rub through a coarse sieve and return to pan
  3. add hot sugar and bring gently back to boiling point
  4. boil smartly about five minutes or until on the point of setting, stirring all the time

This recipe seems like the sort of thing an old aunty would write on the back of an envelope for you – ‘boil until done’? ‘Boil smartly’? How do you know when the jam is on the point of setting? It sounds as if it would be very easy to boil too long, or not long enough!

Sloe jelly

  • sloes, pricked
  • sugar, an equal amount to boiled, soft, mashed, dripped sloes
  1. boil sloes in barely enough water, until the flesh is soft and mashed
  2. drip through the bag
  3. add an equal amount of sugar
  4. boil fast until it is a good rich colour and setting

Another old aunty back of the envelope sort of recipe! In actual fact, if you’ve done any jam or jelly making, it is quite straightforward – and if it’s too runny, use in desserts and on ice-cream, and if it’s too solid, spread it thick on hot toast, crumpets or teacakes!

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