Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Sloe recipes ...

So the sloe picking season has started early this year; longer for the sloes to mature if it's for Christmas presents! I thought I'd share the recipes that I have found and use. Sloe Gin couldn't be simpler - all you need are sloes, gin and sugar plus almond essence if you like using it as I do, it adds a nice mellow taste to it I think. We don't get sloes until a lot later into the Winter season so can't wait until the frosts to pick them, we therefore freeze them to replicate that and this has the added advantage that most of the skins split, thus avoiding the need to prick every single fruit. Anyway, here's what I will be using this year ...

Sloe Gin Recipe:


  • 1lb/454gm of washed sloes
  • 4 ozs/112gm of white granulated sugar
  • 75cl bottle of medium quality gin
  • Sterilised 1 litre (at least) Le Parfait jar or wide necked bottle
  • 2-3 drops of almond essence


  • Wash sloes well and discard any bruised or rotten fruit. Prick fruit several times with a fork and place sloes in either a large Kilner/Le Parfait jar or a wide necked 1 litre bottle. Put several sloes in my palm to prick them rather than picking them up one by one. (I freeze them as we don't get frosts early enough, and this usually splits them too so avoids the time spent pricking them).
  • Using a funnel, add the sugar and top up with gin to the rim.
  • Add the almond essence.
  • Shake every day until the sugar is dissolved and then store in a cool, dark place until you can resist it no longer (leave for at least three months, can be left for up to a year).
  • Some people strain the grog (through muslin/jelly bag) after 3 months and bottle it, leaving it mature for six months. We strain and bottle after a year. Don’t leave the straining process any longer than a year; leaving the fruit in too long can spoil the liqueur.
Recipe from here.

Sloe Gin truffles recipe from here.
This recipe makes around 40 truffles

25g/1oz unsalted butter
75ml/3fl oz/5tbsp double cream
225g/8oz good quality Belgian chocolate
75g stoned sloes, broken up and softened with a pestle and mortar (already quite broken up from being in the sloe gin)
2 tbsp sloe gin

To Finish:
100g Very good quality chocolate (I use Green & Blacks 72% cocoa cooks chocolate, this really does make a superior truffle. Its high cocoa content gives you the 'hit' of chocolate without the sharpness of a plain chocolate)
Chopped roasted hazelnuts (optional)

  • Line a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment
  • Place butter and cream in a small saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute then remove from the heat.
  • Break the Belgian chocolate into pieces and add to the cream. Stir until melted, then mix in the sloes and sloe gin.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared swiss roll tin and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours until firm.
  • Break off pieces of the mixture and roll into balls. Chill for a further 30 minutes before finishing the truffles.
  • To finish melt the Green and Blacks chocolate. Dip the balls into the chocolate on a fork allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Carefully cover the truffle with the hazelnuts by putting it into a small dish or saucer of the nuts and covering it with the hazelnuts by hand.
  • Place the truffles in paper cases (if using) and refrigerate to set.
  • If it's for a gift, find a nice box or something creative to store them in and decorate lovingly! Oh, and make more for yourself too!

Sloe Gin Chocolates

Couldn't be simpler - just put the stoned berries in ice cube trays or on a shallow-sided tray, pour over melted chocolate of your choice and leave to cool and harden. If using the tray you then cut them into the size you want - this is easier to do when the chocolate hasn't quite set - score the shapes with a knife.
You could also add some chopped nuts or other fruits for variety.

Last year I also used some sloes in a cordial here. This can be varied with whatever fruits you have or can forage from the hedgerows.

Enjoy, if you have a go at making any of these, or if you are already a maker of such lovely gifts.


  1. Those recipes sound delicious, though I must confess to never having picked sloes, I wouldn't even know where to find them.

  2. oohh hubby wants to make sloe gin so I will have to show him your post.

  3. What's a sloe? Maybe, put a picture of it there.

  4. Glenys - there is a picture a couple of posts before this one, where I posted about sloes being picked - the recipes were added to share with people what I am going to do with them (as I mentioned in the post with pictures).
    Hope that helps with identifying sloes.

  5. My Grandmother used to make sloe gin and we would be sent out to collect them each year. Its never been a big favourite with me (probably due to these early experiences!), but I am very tempted by your truffle and chocolate recipes.


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