A quick way to prick sloes

Discuss sloe gin recipes - and all those secret family variations! Post your questions and replies here if they are about sloes and gin

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ncsndrsn
Posts: 9
Joined: 23 Aug 2007, 18:24
Location: London

A quick way to prick sloes

Post by ncsndrsn » 24 Aug 2007, 13:53

Apologies if this suggestion has already been made, but I could not find it on the forum.

The way I prick sloes is to use the side of cheese grater which is intended for hard parmesan. It consist of dozens of holes which are punched through the metal, creating thousands of sharp points of metal (not all graters have them). You spread the sloes on a tray and roll the grater across them, allowing you to prick several hundred at a time. Alternatively take a few sloes in the palm of your hand and roll them over the grater.

I am not at all sure that is it necessary to prick the sloes at all, so long as you add sugar to the gin while the sloes are marinating. In that case osmosis will draw out the juices from both the skins and the flesh of the sloes. I have made perfectly good gin without pricking, but I still do it just in case!

shinobi
Posts: 124
Joined: 24 Jul 2005, 07:11
Location: Eastbourne, Sussex.

Post by shinobi » 30 Aug 2007, 15:49

Nice thought. I might try this method on a batch this year.

Generally, I can't be bothered with normally pricking the sloes. Not enough time in the world :roll:

Martin

malty45
Posts: 25
Joined: 06 Oct 2006, 18:20

Post by malty45 » 02 Sep 2007, 09:34

Sounds like a fab idea!

I tried using a sharp knife last year and just slit them quickly down the side...that worked really well.

I am waiting to pick mine at the moment. They look pretty ripe to me. I just had a read of my posts last year to see when I picked them and it was early October....can I wait that long? :D

There are absolutely loads in my garden and down the cyclepath near me. There are loads of bushes so I should be set up for another year.

Elizabeth
Posts: 125
Joined: 09 Sep 2005, 08:04
Location: Worcestershire

Post by Elizabeth » 15 Sep 2007, 23:11

I use the thorn of the tree and make each individual prick

tiff
Posts: 31
Joined: 11 Sep 2007, 17:34

Post by tiff » 16 Sep 2007, 10:50

I freeze them, the sloes then burst so no need for pricking.

Goonberry
Posts: 46
Joined: 29 Nov 2006, 16:53
Location: Colchester, Essex.

Post by Goonberry » 17 Sep 2007, 06:41

I also slit the sloes with a knife, but I do like Elizabeths idea of pricking them with a thorn from the bush. That seems kind of traditional.

Elizabeth
Posts: 125
Joined: 09 Sep 2005, 08:04
Location: Worcestershire

Post by Elizabeth » 17 Sep 2007, 13:29

Okay, I confess :oops: I get a fork and a handful of sloes and go stabby, stabby. I did once try using one of those thing you use to remove staples.

spammeplease
Posts: 162
Joined: 07 Nov 2006, 16:39
Location: Stroud, UK

Post by spammeplease » 18 Sep 2007, 08:42

I use a fork and prick them all individually about 8 or so times depending on size, discarding any that are too hard or mushy. It takes 15 to 20 mins per batch (I use 300g sloes/200g sugar in a 1 litre container) and I can do it without really looking, useful when there is sport on TV.

I like the concept of using a blackthorn, but one would have to pay attention as a pricked finger could be rather unpleasant.

prf147
Posts: 11
Joined: 19 Sep 2007, 15:42
Location: New Forest

Post by prf147 » 21 Sep 2007, 12:31

I tried freezing mine but only a small proportion split.

Been thinking though - surely if the main objective is to get as much juice as possible out of the sloes, then the best way would be to weigh out the required amount, place in a sealed bag (e.g. freezer bag), and gently crush with a rolling pin. Then put the resulting pulp into your container and add sugar and gin.

Is this too easy or am I missing something ??

shinobi
Posts: 124
Joined: 24 Jul 2005, 07:11
Location: Eastbourne, Sussex.

Post by shinobi » 22 Sep 2007, 08:46

It'd work just as well I guess.
There's more than one way to skin a cat!! :D

However, call me a bit of a traditionalist, but I enjoy the gradual colour change of the gin. From light pink to a dark ruby over the space of a couple of weeks. If you roll the sloes, the colour will come out of the skins too quickly.

Shinobi

P.s. As an afterthought, would the rolled sloes cause trouble with keeping the gin nice and clear? Might make it harder to filter?

Sloecoach
Posts: 15
Joined: 07 Oct 2005, 16:11

Post by Sloecoach » 23 Sep 2007, 20:43

I use a serrated knife on frozen sloes. No mess, just cold fingers!

KRF1963
Posts: 5
Joined: 29 Sep 2004, 11:32
Location: York

Post by KRF1963 » 28 Sep 2007, 14:39

I normally slit each one with a pair of kitchen scissors but this year, as they were very ripe, I put them in the gallon container as they came of the bush, put the sugar in and shook fiercely for a few mins before adding the gin.

Colour is great after 3 weeks but time will tell if I have done the wrong thing!

sloe 2 go
Posts: 3
Joined: 28 Sep 2007, 13:07
Location: Hertfordshire

Post by sloe 2 go » 28 Sep 2007, 16:31

Hi I am new to this site.
It's a great site that I have found very helpful.

One little tip I found is to put the sloe berries in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they pop :oops: is that bad?
Sparklysloegirl x

shinobi
Posts: 124
Joined: 24 Jul 2005, 07:11
Location: Eastbourne, Sussex.

Post by shinobi » 28 Sep 2007, 22:39

sloe 2 go wrote:Hi I am new to this site.
It's a great site that I have found very helpful.

One little tip I found is to put the sloe berries in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they pop :oops: is that bad?
Who knows?? It's definately original though :D although I don't know if "Cooking" them would have any effect on the taste?

Keep us informed on how it turns out.

Shinobi

P.s. welcome to the forum

Lime Candy
Posts: 50
Joined: 23 Sep 2006, 14:20
Location: Birmingham, West Midlands.

Post by Lime Candy » 29 Sep 2007, 15:26

I only ever put a tiny slit with a knifepoint in each sloe/bullace. I found that pulverising the fruit too much creates too much sediment, which doesn't of course affect the taste, but doesn't look as pretty in the bottle.

Would be interesting to conduct an experiment with the different pricking methods, to establish the ideal conditions for maximum colour, taste and clarity!

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