Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Ten Sloe Fruit Recipes

Bottle of sloe syrup

I love sloes. I love their flavour, colour and goodness. I love that they're so common and easy to find. I'm not so keen on their thorns. Sloes are the fruits of the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and have been used for thousands of years by humans as food. But what did they do with them?

We know about the traditions of sloe jelly and sloe gin, though I very much doubt that our ancestors just used these fruits to flavour drinks. Piles of sloe stones at archaeological sites imply more of a foodie use. One of the things I love about having a full-time business revolving around wild food, is that I can put lots of time aside for foraging. Time to read (about foraging) and experiment with processes, recipes, seasons and picking sites. Over the years I've acquired over ten sloe fruit recipes from friends, colleagues, books and my own experimentation.

Straining sloes to extract the syrup and discard the stones

Exploring Sloes for Food and Drink

In my first book Wild Food Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly I share a couple of classic recipes with sloes - sloe gin and sloe gin chocolates. A couple of winters ago I shared my proud, new creation for a Sloe Treacle Tart, you can find the recipe here. I've even written a song about sloes which I share on the Singing Foraging Experience. Here's a taster of it - the Sloes Song.

Bottles of sloe gin

I've used sloes for sweet and savour dishes. Lapping up their vitamin C and antioxidants as if winter's going to last for months (which it often feels like it does if you live in rural areas). So what are these ten or more recipes? Well, I save these recipes, tips for participants on my foraging courses. On a course there's plenty of time to share, including wild tasters. And each course is followed up for an email of recipes and useful links. Meanwhile here's a few tasty shots from my exploratory time in my kitchen with sloes. You can find out more about my foraging courses here.

10 Sloe Fruit Recipes

  1. Sloe Jelly
  2. Sloe Gin (in my foraging book)
  3. Sloe Vodka (in my foraging book)
  4. Sloe Liqueur Chocolates (in my foraging book)
  5. Sticky Sloes (left-overs from making sloe syrup)
  6. Sticky Sloe and Nut Clusters
  7. Sloe Syrup
  8. Sloe Treacle Tart
  9. Ginned-up sloe puree
  10. Sloe Gin Chocolate Cake

5 comments on “Ten Sloe Fruit Recipes”

  1. Hi Rachel

    Would it be possible for you to send the recipes for the sloes. I live in Yorkshire and the time is now for sloes as well you know and on the farm there are huggins of them. I’m not a gin drinker but would like to make a syrup or cough remedy.

  2. I enjoy making sloe gin. But here in France, white rum, very strong and cheap, is readily available. It goes with sloes magnificently. I mature it for 2-3 months, I see no need to keep it any longer. Filter|decant and keep it in the freezer. It keeps a fruity taste longer that way. Also, a shot straight out of a freezing bottle seems to go down a lot better! 🙂 - spirits are often sold at 37.5% now, so it might go a bit slushy. So long as it pours!

    The left over sloes from making syrup taste just like sour cherries to me - so I use them as one of the fruits in my Christmas puddings. Don't like glace cherries, donchernow.

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