Friday, August 07, 2009


While walking our dog (Henry), Rob and I enjoy seeing the ever-changing variety of plants in the hedgerows around our house in southern Scotland. It seemed like a good opportunity to try out our new camera and take some photos of the plants throughout the year, and perhaps learn some of the names for the plants we photograph.

The sloes are just beginning to ripen.




These are the fruit of the Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). Having tried them fresh from the tree, I would not recommend them raw: they are extremely astringent. They make a beautiful liqueur, called 'sloe gin'. The sloes are pricked with a fork, then infused in a mixture of gin and sugar for three months, before the liquer is drained off the fruit, filtered and bottled. I have since been given the tip that freezing the fruit first, splits the skin and saves having to prick each one with a fork.

Roger Phillips, in his book "Wild Food" ISBN 978-0-330-28069-3, also mentions recipes for Sloe Jelly, Sloe and Apple Cheese and Sloe Wine.
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