The season for fresh apricots is short and one way of extending the enjoyment of these wonderful fruits is in this apricot liqueur recipe. The liqueur is so simple to make and come the dark winter months when you open the bottle, you'll be so glad you did.
The liqueur is ready after a month but is best kept for several. So, making it when apricots are in season in August, Christmas will be the perfect time to open it.
- 500g (1lb 2oz) apricots, halved, stones removed and kept to one side
- 1 coffee spoon of 4 spice powder (see notes below).
- 500g (1lb 2oz) sugar
- 1-litre dry white wine
- 600 ml (20 fl oz ) good quality gin
- Put the apricots into a jam pan add the spice mix and stir well. Add the sugar and the wine and stir again.
- Bring to the boil frequently stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the gin.
- Crack the stones and remove the almond/kernel from the centre. Remove the skin on the almond then add to the apricots.
- Cover the pan entirely and leave to one side for five days.
- Sterilise and dry 2 or 3 wine or screw cap bottles.
- Pass the apricot mixture through a fine sieve or a piece of muslin into a large bowl (keep the apricots - see note below). Press the mixture well to remove as much juice as possible. Pour the liquid into the bottles, close and label.
- Wait for the minimum of one month before opening, but as with all liqueurs, it will improve with keeping. Christmas will be a good time to open it.
What is Four Spice Powder?
This recipe is one I used to make all the time when I lived in France and where it is very popular and in everyday use. There it is called Quatre-Epice (4 spice).
There are two types of Quatre-spice; sweet and savoury. Sweet is used more often used in baking and the savoury in patés, curing meats, etc. For this liqueur recipe, you use the sweet spice mix.
Here's a general recipe if you want to make Quatre-epice at home.
- 2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp all-spice
- 2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
Thoroughly mix the 4 spices together and use as directed in the recipe. Store the remaining in a screw top jar and use in cake mix or if you make Parkin for bonfire night or any other rich cake mixture such as Yorkshire Brack Recipe.
If you want a savoury quatre épice, replace the ground cloves with whole and the all-spice with white peppercorns and ground to a fine powder, then mix in the nutmeg and ginger.