They are all coming into season here in England, and Isaac and I picked 12lb of blackberries, 8lb of bullaces, and 12lb of sloes over the weekend. We had blackberry and apple crumble today, and both my mother and I are going to make sloe gin and sloe jelly, and my mother's going to make damson jam.
I know in America they call jam and jelly different things - jam is made with the fruit left in, jelly is made only from the clear juice.
I just read it, sounds like a sort of fruit/ vegitable kind of thing. Was thinking of a sweet and sour taste combo in cooking.
Might also make a great glaze, for the right type of lamb or pork, would have to experiment some. hmmm...Interesting.
I have absolutely NO clue what bullaces and sloes are. I think I've had Mango Sloe Gin Souffle in a restaurant before...no clue what I was eating, but it was good.
Blackberries, I absolutely adore! Nothing better than blackberry jams and sauce over vanilla ice cream.
I'm going to go look up sloes and bullaces now, I'm truly curious!
Sloes grow on blackthorns, and I don't think they are ever farmed exactly, they grown in hedges, along footpaths, that kind of thing.
Sloes are absolutely beautiful - a dark purple-blue colour, with a shiny sheen on them. They are small, the biggest are less than 1/2 inch long, and picking them involves dodging the thorns.
Bullaces are similar, but larger (an inch or so long) and sweeter, more like damsons in taste. Sloes are very bitter indeed, if you eat one, it dries your mouth out a lot.
Sloe gin, made over several months, is absolutely divine. And that's from someone who almost never drinks alcohol at all!
I sorta came of age drinking sloe gin. Can't remember what we drank it in, but do remember that it was good!
Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are pretty much it for me. With the exception of cranberries I don't cook with the other three - just eat them "as is". We have blackberries at the grocery store, but for some reason I've never bought them. We have all kinds of jams, jellies, etc., but they're too sweet for anyone in my family.
I don't think I've seen blackberries in shops much - my experience of them is picking them in hedgerows, not buying them.
My mother would have a fit at the idea of anyone in our family buying jam (-: We tend to have tart kinds, such as sloe and apple jelly, or marmalade, which are much less sweet than, say, strawberry jam.
I'd have a fit at the idea of making my own jam. Of course, maybe if I'd make it I wouldn't find it as sweet as what is packaged for stores. I'll buy one kind or another (in case, by any chance, someone gets in the mood for some) that claims its all fruit and nothing extra (that kind of thing), but to me it all tastes like a little pot of sugar. In the area where I live I think it's more common to pick blueberries, apples, and pumpkins.
Hi, This is interesting as I only just found out what Bullaces were this Summer.
This has been a good year for Victoria plums and Bullaces on my fruit and vegetable plot. The plum tree though not in the best of health has produced a bumper crop which were very tasty when cooked in crumbles,'easy jam' and compote.
The Bullaces I did not notice last year; probably as there were not many on the tree and they were not as bright yellow as this year. I thought they were just 'ornamental' and good only for birds to eat. This year the tree was full of the fruit and I asked someone what they were.. they said that were yellow Bullaces and very edible when cooked up, make jam with them was the advice I was given.
After tasting them; I decided they are a bit too tart (for my taste) for pies and crumbles, but used them in the 'easy jam' I make, and with the Bullaces it tastes like greengage jam.
How do you remove the stone when cooking them before or after ? I found them more difficult than the bigger Victoria Plums I am used to.
Plums were great this year too - my parents had 70-odd lb of them, and they only have 2 plum trees!
Most bullaces I've come across are the same colour as plums / sloes, I've not come across the yellow ones.
My mother doesn't remove the stones, she uses them to make jelly, rather than jam, so she just cuts into them and cooks until pulpy. They are fiddly to de-stone.
I don't make jam or marmalade - my mother makes it, and I eat it (-:
Have you ever had proper home-made marmalade, or mint jelly? They are tart, not sweet at all.
I love the conserves we have on the shelf here. Many are just the fully ripe fruit in it's own syrup and have the full taste of the fruit.
I have not had homemade jam for years.
I do miss my mom' homemade jams though!
Thats awesome - you should write up some recipies on hubbs for us Americans who do not have a clue and would love to try something new
Here in Guernsey in the Channel Islands Sloe Gin is somewhat of a traditional drink, especially at Christmas. We have loads of Sloes growing around our fishing lake, but, a word of warning, never, ever try to eat them raw, as they will instantly dehydrate your mouth to a horrifying degree. To make sloe gin you need to wash them, prick the skins all over, cover them in a litre or more of gin plus a load of sugar (half a pound or so, 2 litres of gin plus sloes, makes approx 3 litres of sloe gin). Leave to soak from about September until just before Christmas, drain off the gin and discard the sloes, and then bottle up accordingly. By now your gin will be pink, and much sweeter than normal, but delicious in a liqueur kind of way. Optionally you can top up the last couple of inches in the bottle with brandy for an extra kick.
SOme people like eating them off the tree - my Dad does, sometimes. But you are right, they are very sharp indeed!
I followed some suggestions here, and wrote about the making of sloe gin on my blog (link to which is on my profile).
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