Sloe Jam – maroon and multifaceted

Something of a “grown-ups” jam, sloe jam is for those who like a bit more than just sweetness to their jam.

Hermann the German loves it; Mini-Kraut does not.

Sloe jam with copyright

When to pick sloes? After the first frost, or before the first frost and then a night in the freezer before using? This year, with everything, including the sloes, ripening so much earlier and in such abundance, I opted for the latter…

Prep. Time: about 5 minutes – plus the picking beforehand of course

Cooking time: about 60 minutes plus overnight freezing if necessary

Makes about 4 x 400 g jars

Ripe sloes                                                                       1 kg

White wine (or apple juice if you prefer)                         2 x 250 ml

Brown sugar                                                                    375 g

  1. Pick over your sloes, rinse and freeze overnight if necessary. Take them out of the freezer and allow to thaw before using.
  2. Place the sloes in a saucepan with the first 250 ml of white wine – should be enough to just about cover the sloes, top up with a little water if necessary.
  3. Cook over a medium heat until the sloes are mushy (about 15 minutes).
  4. Pass the mushy sloes and their cooking liquid through a sieve, leaving the stones behind (wash them thoroughly and they make brilliant baking beans for baking pastry cases blind …).
  5. Return the sieved mixture to the saucepan together with the sugar and the second 250 ml of white wine, place over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Leave to simmer away until setting point is reached, pour into sterilised jars and seal.
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