Brandying fruit is one of the simplest methods of preservation around. Simply take Brandy, spiced simple syrup, and ripe fruit and let it meld for about a month. The resulting fruit is sweet and boozy, perfect for topping desserts or garnishing cocktails. Use very ripe and fairly unblemished fruit for this.
For every pound of fresh fruit combine the following:
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup water
A few black peppercorns, or up to 1/2 teaspoon of the spices of your choice
Bring all of the syrup ingredients to a simmer and cook until the sugar has disolved and the mixture has thickened slightly. Let cool and then mix the syrup into 2 cups of 80-proof brandy.
Sterilize your jars and lids.
Peel and slice your fruit.
Pack the fruit into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Pour in the brandy mixture. You can add some citrus zest to the jar at this stage. Seal the jars and store in a cool, dark place or in the fridge for at least a month before using.
The brandied fruit will keep for nearly a year. Just keep topping off the jar with more brandy as you use the fruit -- as long as it is submerged in the alcohol, it is safe to eat.
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