Blackthorn inspiration

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Blackthorn inspiration

Postby grisell » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:47 pm

Blackthorn or sloe (Prunus spinosa) is a very usable plant. The berries that resemble cherries in shape can be used to much more than sloe gin. They grow ripe in Autumn and are at their best after frost. Provided that they are picked when fully ripe, the frost can be arranged by freezing them for 24 hours before use.

Here are two successful recipes I invented.

1. Preserved Sloe with Maraschino Liqueur

Four kilos of sloe.
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Pitted. It took two hours!
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Mixed with one kilo sugar, juice of one lemon and a fair amount of Maraschino liqueur. Set aside to melt together with the sugar for a few hours.
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Heated in a water bath to further dissolve the sugar crystals (boiling would have torn the berries apart). Stirred very carefully in order not to tear the berries apart.
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After adding some benzoate, filled into jars. The preserve must be stored refrigerated since it's not sterilized.
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2) Sloe Ice Cream

750 g sloe is boiled for five minutes in half a litre of water and 200 grams sugar.
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The berries are drained. The juice is an excellent and nutritious drink when diluted with water.
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The berries are strained to a purée. If at hand, add a tablespoon of Kirsch or Maraschino liqueur.
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Make a vanilla custard with a little more sugar and less vanilla than usual:

4 egg yolks
125 g sugar
200 ml milk
100 ml heavy cream
1 cm vanilla pod

Bring milk, cream and vanilla to a boil. Set aside and let stand for 20 minutes. In the meantime, whisk yolks and sugar until white. Add the strained milk/cream to the batter. Pour back into the pot and heat, constantly stirring, to 85 C/185 F when the custard thickens. Chill the custard and the purée in the refrigerator.
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Mix custard and purée. Pour into the ice-cream maker. When it's half frozen, pour in half a cup of whipped cream.
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The ice cream is ready when the blade stops.
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Serve with sloe preserve (see above) and almond cookies.
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André

I have a simple taste - I'm always satisfied with the best.
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Postby onewheeler » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:29 pm

That looks wonderful Andre. We have had a bumper year for sloes around here, the trees are fuller than I've ever seen them and they're ripe and sweet enough to almost be edible straight off the branches.

Martin/
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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:53 pm

Interesting berry/cherry. I had never heard abou them. As for the preserve I found out that, if you heat the jars in the oven and can the simmering preserve into the very hot jars, you don't need any preservative. Also, at 15-20% sugar there are very few microorganisms that could potentially grow.
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Massimo
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Postby grisell » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:00 pm

onewheeler wrote:[---]
We have had a bumper year for sloes around here, the trees are fuller than I've ever seen them and they're ripe and sweet enough to almost be edible straight off the branches.

Martin/


Same here! :D I haven't seen anything like this in my life. I've picked 20+ kilos already from only 3-4 bushes and there is much more left! :shock:
André

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Postby grisell » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:25 pm

Massimo Maddaloni wrote:Interesting berry/cherry. I had never heard abou them. As for the preserve I found out that, if you heat the jars in the oven and can the simmering preserve into the very hot jars, you don't need any preservative. Also, at 15-20% sugar there are very few microorganisms that could potentially grow.
Regards
Massimo


In Italian they are called prugnoli. I know that they grow along the American East Coast, but I'm not sure about Montana. True, with enough sugar there is little need for a preservative, but I added it just to be safe. I estimate the sugar of my preserve to 30 percent.
André

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Postby saucisson » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:09 pm

I only use them for sloe gin, far too precious for anything else :D
Curing is not an exact science... So it's not a sin to bin.

Great hams, from little acorns grow...
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Postby BriCan » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:12 pm

With all this talk about sloe has got the mind thinking about new products --- need to get out and see if I can find some it's not that I have nothing to do :roll: :roll:
But what do I know
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