Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Preserving fruits in alcohol

At Christmas time I often buy cherries in alcohol and my do they cost a lot even on the buy 3 for 2 offers. So I decided to make my own. I couldn't find many recipes on the Internet or in my many cookbooks so decided to go with a basic 1/3 jar sugar and top up with brandy.
I bought Basics cherries from Sainsbury's @ £1 a punnet and a punnet of basics apricots @ £1.40 together with a bottle of Sainsbury's own label brandy.
This made 4 jars of cherries in brandy and 1 large jar of the apricots. Cherries-I left whole although I did prick them. Some recipes say to prick them some don't mention it. I reckoned on the brandy soaking into the cherries if I pricked them. We'll see in a few months time. The apricots I cut in half and removed the stone, this way they packed in the jar better and recipes I found for plums did this. I also used vanilla sugar for the apricots rather than the plain caster for the cherries.
Once sealed they needed shaking to start dissolving the sugar. I shall be storing them in the cupboard for a couple of months before tasting and will need to remember to give them a shake every now and then.


First batch of mango chutney was made this morning.Woke at 5am so got up and had a mug of tea and started the chutney. Decided to make 2 batches; one spicy and one less so. Spicy one made.The chutney has come out quite dark due to the sugar used in the recipe. Next time I would use ordinary granulated not soft brown sugar.Recipe made 3 jars.

The Plum cheese or PLumbrillo is also made. Very simple to do and cheap seeing as plums are mega cheap at the moment. There are 6 jars and 3 ramekins worth.We tried one of the ramekins yesterday. A quite release at the side with a knife and the cheese plopped out onto a plate. We nibbled some cheddar with it and thought it was quite tasty although we think it would go better with Brie or Camembert and maybe goats cheese.

Going to make second batch of chutney later also going to do some cherries in brandy for Christmas.