Saturday, 7 August 2010

Brandied Cherries

Alice Waters (of Chez Panisse fame) has produced some wonderful cookbooks. This recipe (from 'Fruit') is simplicity itself, and I can't wait until Christmas now to be able to eat them (and drink the cherry brandy left over - hic!). Remove the pits from a pound of washed, stemmed cherries - I have a nifty cherry and olive pitter which is invaluable for the job. Keep the pits. Take a sterilised Kilner jar (don't forget to sterilise the rubber seal, too) and put the cherry stones in the bottom - apparently, they contribute hugely to the flavour. Now add the cherries and pour over half a cup of granulated sugar (about 125g) and then cover with brandy - you don't have to get the best cognac for this, but don't use stuff that could also clean the bathroom tile grouting! Seal the jar and give it a shake. Now, keep somewhere dark and cool for a week or so, and remember to shake the jar each day to dissolve the sugar. After that, let the whole lot mature for at least three months. It will keep longer, but once the jar is opened, the fruit should be consumed within a month and the jar kept in the fridge. The resulting cherry brandy should keep for ages - who am I kidding? This treatment can also be given to raspberries, which I will try next week.

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