Posts Tagged ‘Brandy’

Drunk Cherries

June 25, 2010

Well they look drunk, drowned and infused as they are in a good amount of brandy.


Supposedly I was following a recipe for Cherry Brandy, but I can already see incredible opportunities for using the succulently brandified cherries too, once they’ve done they’re preserving thing.  Cherry Cheesecake?  Cherry Pie?  Cherry Torte?  Mmmm.


INGREDIENTS – Morella cherries, good brandy; to every lb. of cherries allow 3 oz. of pounded sugar.


I’ve no idea what Morella cherries are… or indeed what type of cherry I actually bought at the market on Saturday (so long as they aren’t sour, I’m a happy camper).  However, they were fresh, they were sweet and, what’s more, delicious.



This is not exactly rocket science, this recipe.  Place cherries in preserving bottle.  Add sugar.  Add brandy (I went a bit mad, as you do, and added regular brandy and Mrs Beeton’s very own Lemon Brandy that I made several months ago).  Then “put corks or bungs into the bottles, tie over them a piece of bladder, and store away in a dry place” for 2-3 months.

Unfortunately, not having a bit of bladder (ick!), corks or bungs (what are they?) to hand, I used my steam oven to ensure that the jar was as sterile as possible.


However, steam = heat = big fat boiled cherries.  All of a sudden, I went from having plenty of space at the top of the preserving jar, to pretty much none at all.   As a general rule, when whatever’s being preserved actually sticks above the liquid line in the jar, mould could potentially follow.  Not a good thing.

So,  I decided to leave it alone for a week or two and then use the contents for a dessert (and perhaps the semi-cherrified brandy for a punch?).  Not exactly what Mrs Beeton had in mind, but, as we’re moving to Canada in a few weeks anyway, maybe it’s just as well.


If nothing else, the colour of the liquid inside the jar looks absolutely heavenly!


Cherry Brandy (Recipe 1561):


Lemon Brandy Part 2

February 7, 2010


Mrs Beeton said ”…let them infuse for 24 hours…”, right?

Unfortunately, the days zipped by and the jar of soaking lemon rinds and brandy was somewhat out of sight on top of a cupboard.  So, let’s just say that 6 x 24-hours should only make the brandy 6 x better?

Here’s hoping.

“It’s lemony” commented my boyfriend aptly as he stuck his nose hesitantly into the jar.

“Well it’s got lemon in it you know,” replied I sassily.

He merely gave me a look and raised his eyebrows.

“So, you going to drink this or something?” he asked hopefully, ear half-cocked towards the living room door, where a computer gamed I’d interrupted him in the middle of was awaiting his incredible shoot ’em up skills.

I returned the look and raised eyebrows.  “No, Mrs Beeton says it’s for lemon custard or something”.

After boiling up the sugar and water called for in the recipe, I let it cool down and mixed it with the brandy (after removing the rinds, of course).  Before adding it, Mrs Beeton says to ”skim” the sugar water, but I guess that’s something to do with old-fashioned sugar preparation rather than modern, because there was nothing to skim off.

It does smell very good – like brandy, of course, and like lemon, as my on-the-ball boyfriend rightly pointed out.

I’ll make a custard sometime this week and reveal what it tastes like.


Lemon Brandy (Recipe 460):

Lemon Brandy Part 1

February 3, 2010

I love the name of this tipple.

Don’t ask me why – when I think about it as a drink, it doesn’t sound too appealing. But when you consider its value as a flavour enhancer for desserts, doesn’t it sound highly intriguing?

Well it did to me anyway (I really ought to get out more).

I’m not very patient when it comes to doing recipes in stages – especially when there is a day or two’s delay between said stages – but I was willing to face the challenge with this particular recipe.


INGREDIENTS – 1 pint of brandy, the rind of two small lemons, 2 oz. of loaf-sugar, 1/4 pint of water.

Mode.—Peel the lemons rather thin, taking care to have none of the white pith. Put the rinds into a bottle with the brandy, and let them infuse for 24 hours, when they should be strained. Now boil the sugar with the water for a few minutes, skim it, and, when cold, add it to the brandy. A dessertspoonful of this will be found an excellent flavouring for boiled custards.



Part 2 will reveal how I got on with this.

Lemon Brandy (Recipe 460):

Day 21: I Can’t Believe It’s (Not) Jam

December 8, 2009

Carrot Jam to Imitate Apricot Preserve

Wouldn’t your attention be laughingly-arrested by this too?

When I came across a recipe for Carrot Jam in Isabella Beeton’s chapter on Preserves, I knew I had to give it a try, despite my instinctive absolutely-no-way-it’ll-taste-even-remotely-edible response.

I knew there was no way it could (I mean, come off it, carrot on toast?!).  But as I’d bought a bottle of Brandy for Friday’s apple-custard tart, I’ll jump at the chance to honourably be done with it as soon as possible.

The last time I (allegedly) partook of this particular beverage was as a baby.  (Allegedly) I was a bit of a lusty, high-pitched wailer, so my war-time nurse of a grandmother (allegedly) prescribed a drop of Brandy in my milk.  Allegedly.  I’ve no idea if it’s actually true (my late grandmother sometimes enjoyed pulling my leg), but an abiding aversion to the smell lingers on.

INGREDIENTS – Carrots; to every lb. of carrot pulp allow 1 lb. of pounded sugar, the grated rind of 1 lemon, the strained juice of 2, 6 chopped bitter almonds, 2 tablespoonfuls of brandy.

It’s an easy recipe, but that still didn’t warm me to the idea of eating carrot on toast.

The most time-consuming part was boiling the thinly-sliced carrots to near-mash, which didn’t take that long at all (35 minutes).

I’ve never heard of bitter almonds and most certainly don’t have any lying around, so 6 regular almonds were pestle-and-mortared into service.

I summoned (begged) my boyfriend into the kitchen to share the moment of tasting with me.

“You’re trying some,” I muttered as he grimaced at the gingery pulp.

I ladled a spoon of carrot onto two very small pieces of bread.  We couldn’t bring ourselves to look at each other as we slowly, with eww-ick expressions, raised the bread to our lips.

Slowly.  Slowly.  Slowly.

We shoved the bread into our mouths and chewed as quickly as our disgust would allow us.

Suddenly, my boyfriend’s face cleared.  Munching carefully, he quietly gave his pronouncement.

“Hmm.  It’s… not… bad.  Not… bad… at… all.’’

My own prior expectation of a loo-dash faded away as my tastebuds assessed the new flavor sensation.  With huge surprise I had to agree– it really was pretty damn good.  Who’d have thought it?

Give it a try for yourself and see what you think.  I was unexpectedly impressed by the lip-lickety sweetness of this surprisingly tasty (not to mention economical) concoction.

Carrot Jam Recipe: (recipe 1525)