Rhubarb & Sloe Gin Mess

While I was in Ireland recently, I had the opportunity to make a dessert the two key ingredients of which came from right outside the door. Rhubarb and sloe berries are featured in this recipe - and what a delight it was. The recipe comes from Nigel Slater whose book Tender is on my reading list. I find myself more and more drawn to his recipes lately.

The recipe is loosely based on the traditional Eton Mess - but I think Nigel's version is better!

Homegrown rhubarb. 

I actually made this dessert twice while I was in Ireland.
Because I'd run out of home grown rhubarb for the second batch, I used strawberries.
They worked very well, too.

Homemade sloe gin. 

I can still recall the first time I learned about sloe gin - and tasted it. It's been almost twenty years - and back then it was homemade, too. A first cousin my grandfather's called Peter always offered the American visitors his sloe gin. The sloe berries came from the hedgerow just outside his home. Although he was pretty low key about his sloe gin, I think he enjoyed the annual autumn ritual of picking the berries after the first frost (maybe even before then as they're more plump), adding them to the gin (after they'd been pricked) and then turning the bottle every so often. 
The anticipation of sloe gin is half the fun.
This dessert was well loved by us and was declared by himself as "the best use of the rhubarb from the garden in many years" which to me, means everything. 

If you have access to rhubarb (or strawberries) and sloe gin, I really encourage you to try this dessert...it's sublime.

Photos taken by me with my iPhone. 


Kristin said...

This sounds absolutely gorgeous! I made sloe gin last year, I'm definitely going to give this a go. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kristin! It really is a beautiful dessert...I think you'll be happy with it. Such a lovely was to use sloe gin...especially homemade. :)

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