Blackberry & Sloe Gin Jelly not only has a wonderful flavour, but blackberries make this jelly a deep iridescent purple colour. This preserve is delicious served with roast lamb and game meats. If you cannot find ripe sloe berries, but you can find (purchase) a sloe gin, replace the sloe berries with more blackberries and use a sloe gin to flavour.
A clear preserve like this jelly needs a ‘jelly bag’ to strain the fruit juice through – best left overnight. Do not be tempted to squeeze the jelly bag while it is draining, or the jelly will become cloudy.
Blackberry & Sloe Gin Jelly Recipe
Makes about 1.3 Kg of jelly to pot.
- 1.8 Kg blackberries
- 450g sloes (sloe berries)
- 600ml cold water
- 1 lemon (juice)
- approx – 900g preserving sugar (added pectin)
- 3 tbsp gin (plain gin or sloe gin)
Wash the sloes and prick them with the tip of a knife. Put them in a large heavy-based saucepan, with the water, and bring this up to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pick over the blackberries, discard the worst, and briefly rinse them in cold water and drain. Add them, and the lemon juice, to the simmering pan of sloes. Simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes, until the sloes are tender and the blackberries are very soft, stirring once or twice.
Pour the fruit and juices into a sterilized (scalded) jelly bag suspended over a large bowl. Leave to drain for at least 5 hours – best to leave overnight, until the juice stops dripping.
Measure the juice into the cleaned preserving pan, adding 450g of preserving sugar for every 600ml of juice.
Heat the mixture gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved completely – then boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, until the jelly reaches setting point (105°C / 220°F). Remove from the heat.
Skim any scum off the surface using a slotted spoon, stir in the gin, then pour the jelly into warmed sterilized jars, cover and seal. Store in a cool, dark place and use within 1 year. Once opened, keep in the refrigerator.