Traditionally, boerenmeisjes were a way to preserve apricots. The steeping liquor was served as a drink at special occasions. I prefer having more apricots and less liquor. These brandied apricots are fantastic served with pancakes and/or vanilla ice-cream. They also make great culinary gifts. Make them ahead, store in jam jars and present with a pretty bow.
- Rinse apricots under running water.
- Place the apricots in a large saucepan, along with the sugar and water and soak for 24 hours.
- During that time sterilized your jam jars.
- After 24 hours, remove the lemon zest by slicing the skin off the lemon (you should have three or four strips of lemon skin) and add lemon zest to the saucepan with the apricots and water.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then immediately remove the apricots placing the apricots in jars.
- Now reduce the remaining liquid until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and add the brandy/cognac and remove the lemon zest.
- Spoon the liquid over the apricots and shake.
- Seal the jars tightly and store in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks before consuming.