Liquored-Up Fruit

 

Liquored-Up Fruit

Liquored-Up Fruit

As the name suggests, this recipe pretty much consists of getting fruit drunk, a worthy cause.

Any fruit can be used, I prefer to make the most of the short fruit seasons – such as figs, cherries, apricots, plums and peaches.  It is also a wonderful way to extend the flavour of raspberries and damsons when you are able to acquire them.
If you keep the ratio of alcohol to syrup equal (which is about half alcohol to raw sugar) the result is usually excellent, but the best way to work out how you like it is to try lots of different combinations.  Vodka, Rum, Sherry, Brandy, Gin, Cointreau, Kirsch, Schnapps and Absinthe are all worth a try as long as you marry neutral spirit flavours with strong fruit (such as Vodka with kumquats) and flavoured liquors with milder fruit (such as Apples in Absinthe).

TLiquored-Up Fruithe combinations are endless and even if the end result is not ideal it can be used in puddings and Christmas cake.

Favourite combinations (to date):

Figs in Kirsch

Cherries in Sherry (and it has an amusing name, so how can it be wrong?)

Mandarin and Oranges in Vodka with Vanilla Beans

Raspberry Gin

Mandarins in Cointreau – very intense and utterly delightful

Peaches or Apricots in Schnapps or Vodka (pictured)

 

Basic Recipe for Liquored-Up Fruit

600 grams fresh fruit
250 grams sugar – caster sugar or better still vanilla-infused caster sugar
300mls water
200mls clear spirit or liqueur of choice

Prepare your preserving jars by washing them thoroughly and allowing them to dry upside down on the rack in a 70-90°C oven while you make your preserve.  The jars will be hot, but not scalding when removed from the oven.

When using whole fruit like mandarins, pierce the fruit using a toothpick all over to allow the alcohol to penetrate and the fruit to seep out.

Place half the sugar and the water into a large heavy bottomed saucepan.  Heat through gently until the sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat and boil rapidly.  Add the fruit and reduce to a simmer for about three minutes, ensuring the fruit does not split or break apart, fruit should be just tender, not completely cooked.  Carefully remove the fruit using a slotted spoon, and place in prepared jars.  Add remaining sugar to fruit syrup and increase heat to a rapid boil.  If you have confectionary thermometer boil until syrup reaches 107°C – or to test if syrup is ready stretch the syrup between two spoons until a thin thread forms. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature, then add equal quantity of alcohol to syrup, mix well and pour into fruit preserve jars.  Preserved fruits will last a year in the pantry, and are best eaten after a month or so to mature.