Two weekends ago, DH's best friend sent me a text message: would I like some sloes for sloe gin? "Yes, please," I replied. Monday night, he arrived at our door with 2kg of sloes and a further 3.5kg of crab apples. Unfortunately, he picked one of my busier weeks. I would only have Saturday with which to make anything.
On Saturday, I started the process of making crab apple jelly: washed, chopped and boiled the fruit, then drained it through a jelly bag. (Note: copying an idea from the Cottage Small Holder, I added dried chillies to the fruit before I boiled it, in order to add a bit of zing.)
Saturday night while the apple juice dripped, we made sloe gin, pricking the sloes while sitting on the couch watching the football highlights from Match of the Day. The recipe is from a wonderful website, Sloe.biz. (In case you've never encountered them, sloes are small, very sour members of the plum family, native to Britain.) The sloes will macerate in the gin for another three months before I attempt to decant them and make sloe gin chocolates .
Sunday, I only had time to put the drained juice into the fridge, dump the pulp into a bowl and refrigerate that too. Fast forward to this morning, when I finally had time to make jelly.
The above was two hours hard work, plus several hours tracking down jars. Hopefully the condensation won't be a problem in the clip-lid jars. The others are sealed with wax circles and cellophane.
Tonight, I'll rub the pulp through a sieve and make Crab Apple Chilli Cheese, another Cottage Small Holder recipe. Hopefully, I can rustle up enough jars.