A distant relative of the plum, sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn tree, a scrubby tree that grows to about three metres in height and has long, sharp thorns. Sloes have an attractive dark blue-black tough skin and a yellow bitter flesh with a small stone. Season-wise, you will find them from October to November.
Uses: Sloes can be infused to make sloe gin or vodka or they can be used to make jams, jellies or pickles.
To prepare: Wash thoroughly and discard any damaged fruit.