When summer gives up its bounty of fresh fruit, preserve that sun-kissed flavor in brandy to be enjoyed on ice cream or pound cake year-round. One of the ways in which fruits can be preserved is in alcohol -- no water-bath processing required -- without fear of botulism.
Brandied fruit makes an excellent item for an edible gift basket. But it takes at least one month for the fruit to be at its inebriated best (longer is better!), so keep that in mind when making this recipe for gift-giving. Start in July for Christmas!
- 9 cups diced fruit of choice (cherries, blueberries, plums and peeled nectarines and peaches)
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 5 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 cups (or more as necessary) good-quality brandy
- In a very large bowl, combine fruit and sugars, tossing well. Cover and let macerate for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes.
- Divide fruit among 8 sterilized pint jars or a gallon covered crock. Pour in the brandy, making sure fruit is submerged. Cover and store in a cool place for at least one month. Since the brandied fruit will only improve with age, let the flavors develop for more than one month.
- Once aged, store the brandied fruit on a counter. As its contents diminish, just add more diced fruit (2 cups fruit to 1/2 cup each white and firmly packed brown sugar) and brandy to cover.