Beautiful pictures of food make for great cookbooks and blogs. However I do wonder if they put people off cooking in the same way that size zero models make clothes look beautiful, but in a way that is impossible to recreate yourself. So to double bolster your confidence people, a simple achievable and boozy way to use foraged fruit that is hanging from the trees and bushes right now...and with a suitably rustic photo. The above paragraph is how I feel about the matter, and nothing to do with the fact that I could only find some old beer bottles to use for this recipe.....honest.
Use a cheap but drinkable spirit for this recipe, a supermarket own brand is perfect or use any old half bottles you have kicking about and adjust the recipe accordingly. The method and ingredients are the same for both the sloe gin and blackberry brandy:
Fruit - 1kg, really well picked through and washed
Spirit - 1 litre
Caster Sugar - 200g
Prick the sloes with a pin, fork or any other pointy thing you have to hand. The blackberries need no attention. Clean and sterilise the bottles by putting in the oven for 10 mins at 130c. When the bottles are cool, divide the sugar evenly between the bottles (pay attention to the volumes of the bottles if a mix of shapes and sizes, less sugar in the small ones etc). Stuff the fruit in the bottles nearly to the neck then top up with spirit using a funnel. Seal and shake daily for a couple of weeks then leave to mature for at least 2 months before opening. Should last for a very long time....a few years at least.