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The blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), also Schlehendorn, Schlehdorn, Heckendorn or Schwarzdorn mentioned, is a plant type from the kind Prunus, which is why the Latins among the readers him with the plum trees arrange.
In fact, the blackthorn is the ancestral form of the Kulturpflaume, in ascending systematics belong these Steinobstgewächse (Amygdaleae) by the way to the family of the rose family (Rosaceae).
Harvest and process sloe
This primal form of the plum also produces plum-like fruits, also bluish (hence the name, from the Indo-European word Sli = bluish), only slightly smaller. And from these fruits you can make delicious liqueurs:
- Of course, this first requires a sloe tree, which would like to be harvested. You can recognize sloe as early as spring, they are among the first shrubs that show their delicate, white flowers on the still leafless tree. The flowers usually appear in quantities and resemble plum blossoms, they like to grow on sunny spots and often on stony or barren soil. At the edge of the forest or along roadsides, sloes can often be found, as they can spread very well over root shoots, and you will certainly find large areas. If the sloe can spread undisturbed, they can form impenetrable hedges.
- The fruits are usually ripe at the latest in mid-October, but then taste rather terrible. That's why you should wait for the first frost before harvesting, which will significantly improve the taste of the fruit. They are then sweeter and juicier, some of the tannic acid contained is broken down. Unfortunately, the sloe after the frost are not only sweeter and more aromatic, but also softer, they then burst when picking.
- Therefore, it is often advised to pick the still solid fruit before the frost and then to put it for a few days in the freezer. This is not such a good idea, because only the frost and the longer ripening period ensure that the tannin content (tannic acid) in the sloe is enzymatically degraded.
- The sloe cores contain a toxic cyanogenic glycoside (amygdalin) and therefore must not be consumed. Therefore, please do not follow the advice of some recipes to add some crushed seeds to the liqueur. Since the cores of the sloes can not be removed with reasonable effort, there is always the danger that not intact kernels in the sloe liqueur release a little amygdalin anyway, that does not have to be forced.
- Not only because of the soft consistency after the frost effect, but also because of the impressive spines, the sloe harvest is tedious. But the possibilities to make liqueurs from the sloe are all the more varied - all with delicious results! This is the basic recipe for sloe liqueur or sloe fire: Approximately 1.5 kg of sloe are kneaded in a plastic bag or processed in a bowl with a pestle until they burst open (careful, do not injure cores). The sloes come with 1 to 2 kg of sugar or candy, a cut vanilla pod and 1 to 3 liters of double grain (40%) in a large vessel in which the liqueur is allowed to pull about 2 months in a warm place. He only needs to be shaken occasionally. Then the liqueur is filtered through a fine sieve and bottled.
- If it is said that the liqueur tastes better, if each sloe is individually pierced with a sharp instrument, you will not believe it. If you have harvested your sloes at the right time (fully to overripe and after the first frosts), the tannin content of the peel has already reduced to such an extent that you can easily hurt them in several places (as happens during kneading or pounding), The Anpiken is only the attempt to bring not to mature fruits, as much flavor from the interior and release as little as possible from the shell.
- Depending on your imagination and taste, you can modify this basic recipe: Instead of double grain, you can use vodka, rum, kirsch or brandy, or any other high-spirits drink that has 40% alcohol and in your opinion, harmonizes with the taste of the sloe. Sloe with gin, for example, are very popular in England, the drink known as Sloe Gin is used by many Englishmen at home. You can also experiment with the spices, the addition of chili, elderberry, honey, ginger, coffee beans, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, raisins, star anise, juniper berries, cinnamon sticks, lemon balm and / or lemon zest.
Purists use their sloe only with pure alcohol and spices, and there are many other exciting recipes:
- You can put in sloes (immature like olives, spicy or sweet and sour), make Schlehensaft, Schlehenwein or Schlehenmarmelade, prepare sloe vinegar or dry the sloe we raisins.
- Sloe have been and are also used as a medicinal plant: Tea from sloe blossom and infusions of bark or fruit should astringent (astringent), diuretic, weak laxative, antipyretic, stomachic and anti-inflammatory effect.