I actually wrote up the process for Brandied Fruit in response to a Facebook request – short and sweet, but this is basically it. Start in June! There is no “making Brandied Fruit” at Christmas.
“Sue, it’s not a recipe so much as a process. It is different every year, depending on what berries I can get and when I find the time!
Basically a cup of rum or brandy and a cup of sugar poured over berries in season, start with that. 3 or so cups of berries.
The lid is left on loosely, not sealed. Sit it in a cupboard or counter (not in bright sun) until new berries come into season.
By then the first batch will be sitting in a pile of liquid, sugar, brandy, fruit juice. Wash the new berries and add to the jar. Every now and then you might slosh in some more brandy and more sugar.
As the summer goes on I have to dump everything into a giant mixing bowl and divide it out into MORE jars as I add more berries. These 4 jars will grow to 8 or 10.
Generally the order of the summer goes:
- peaches (skin removed, cut in big chunks).
You can add gooseberries and wild blueberries if you can get them.
Some people add pineapple, I did that once it was good but not “Ontario.”
In a perfect world all the fruit is local but I got great raspberries and blackberries on sale Sunday so I started an impromptu batch! Still waiting for local strawberries.
Use cheap brandy, I usually use Ontario Small Cask brand. Rum is also good. The liquid starts to get fizzy and ferment-y, that’s fine, just don’t seal the jars tightly to allow the gas to escape. (These jars are never heat processed; the preservation is in the brandy and the sugar.)
When you are done adding fruit, pack the jars away until Christmas….you won’t believe the flavour! It’s quite magical.”