Brandied Apricots and Peaches

Brandied Apricots and Peaches

Like  Liquored-Up Fruit  just a little more refined...

This preserve needs nice big jars (or just one lovely big one).  It is such an easy method of preserving and very scalable for when there is an abundance of cheap fruit.  Perfect for Christmas presents!

1 kg fresh ripe peaches

1 kg fresh ripe apricots

1 cup raw sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Grated nutmeg

1 cup water

Brandy (or Sherry or inexpensive, sweet spirit)

1  cinnamon stick per preserving jar

1 vanilla bean, split down the middle, per preserving jar

A few mint leaves

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 preserves.  The jars will be hot, but not scalding when removed from the oven.

Halve and stone the fruit.  Place all fruit in a large pan with water, sugar, vanilla seeds, ground cinnamon and nutmeg.  Gently bring to the boil until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms around the fruit.  Do not allow the fruit to overcook or disintegrate.

Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes before covering entirely with Brandy, careful not to add Brandy when sugar is really hot, or risk bubbling up violently.

Add a cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and a couple of mint leaves to each preserving jar, then pour in fruit and Brandy mixture. 

Allow to stand in a cool dark place for a month or so before eating to allow flavour to develop.