Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cherries In Brandy.

Hello. Today I give you this recipe, knowing full well that you will never, never ever, be a preserver. Yesyes I knoooooooow you will never own a sugar thermometer, or know or care about ‘setting points’, or save jam jars in a box under your bed. But here I am anyway, on the off chance that you happen across some wonderful fruit and need to make it last.

I know it can be tricky to shop and cook for one. What’s happened over my summer you see, is that the wandering Mr Love and Cake has returned from the depths of Scotland after trips away, causing me to excitedly stock up on a fridge-full of goodies, only for him to be called away again at a moment’s notice. Hence my need for brandy and the recipeeeeeee obviouslllllly, and my anticipation of yours too.

Maybe you will walk past a posh London food market (yes folks, sis has been entangled in the capital’s tentacles and may never escape....must change the blog’s tagline), and simply have to have that half kilo of shiny, end of season fruit. But once home, with your mouth and your mouth alone available for their onward journey, they start to decompose before your very eyes. Brandy and sugar to the rescue...FOR THE FRUIT.

It doesn’t have to be cherries and there’s no heat’s really rather a simple process. Aaaaaand when you’ve gobbled up all the drunken fruit , what you’re left with is the most delectable fruit liqueur. See I knew I could make a jar saver out of you. With Love and Cake.

Cherries in Brandy.
Adapted from River Cottage Handbook No 7: Hedgerow.

  • These are rather free form instructions, everything depends on how much fruit you've got really, and how they pack into your jars...just go with it, and feel laid back man.
  • The original recipe is written for small wild strawberries, fat chance of you getting hold of them, so feel free to mix it up a bit in terms of what fruit you have, that is, ultimately, the point of preserving such as this. 
  • To sterilise your jars, all you need to do is pop the in the oven on their side and turn your oven on to 170°c. When the temperature is reached, pop a timer on for 10 minutes, and turn the oven off when the timer pings. Leave them in the warm oven until you need them.
You will need

Sterilised jars

granulated sugar

  • Prick each of your cherries a couple of times with a knife or skewer and the brandy can get inside and make them all delicious.
  • Fill you jar about one third full with fruit then pour oven with sugar so the fruit is covered and gaps are filled.
  • Keep going like this until your jar or jars are filled with fruit.
  • Pour over the brandy, give the jars a bang on a table and wait a few minutes for the air to escape and the brandy to find its way right to the bottom.
  • Top up the jar with more brandy if you need and seal the jars.
  • The cherries should keep for a good while but why should they, when you can top a cake with them, use them, stoned, in a trifle, they're great with meringue and cream or just pop them straight from jar into mouth.

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