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Homemade Brandied Cherries


JennotJenn
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I didn't know which sub-forum to place this in, but cooking seemed close enough...maybe I should post over in the spirits forum, too?

While reading the Zuni Cafe cookbook last night, I realized that I had a bunch of perfectly ripe sweet cherries hanging around the house, along with a pint of decent, but cheap brandy. So one thing led to another and I made a batch of brandied cherries from the book. Once I finished that, I found a bottle of bourbon (which I keep on hand only for when my brother-in-law comes over for Christmas---not against bourbon, I just can't drink right now) and made bourbon cherries. Cherries were on sale this week and I've already eaten enough to literally make me sick, so I was happy to find something to use up the rest of them.

Anyway, I know they need to ""ripen" for a couple of weeks, but how long will they last unopened? The cookbook didn't specify, unfortunatly. I know they won't spoil with that much alcohol and using sterile procedures, but will there be a point when the texture or flavor goes off? I'm hoping they'll keep until Christmas (fruitcake and maybe the bourbon ones to above mentioned brother in law). And once opened, does anyone have any idea how long they'll keep in the fridge?

Thanks, and if anyone can suggest a better subforum for this question, please let me know.

Gourmet Anarchy

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I can't give you an exact time frame, but we've occasionaly kept ours for extremely long periods & they're still good. ("hey honey, what's this jar hidden at the back of the cabinet?")

We usually put them up in June/July and give them as gifts at the holidays, and haven't had any problems with degrading after a mere 6 months.

When you pull them out, dip them in melted chocolate - SOOO good!

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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You can also use kirschwasser as the French do with griottes. They are very good and last a long, long time.

I didn't know which sub-forum to place this in, but cooking seemed close enough...maybe I should post over in the spirits forum, too?

While reading the Zuni Cafe cookbook last night, I realized that I had a bunch of perfectly ripe sweet cherries hanging around the house, along with a pint of decent, but cheap brandy. So one thing led to another and I made a batch of brandied cherries from the book. Once I finished that, I found a bottle of bourbon (which I keep on hand only for when my brother-in-law comes over for Christmas---not against bourbon, I just can't drink right now) and made bourbon cherries.  Cherries were on sale this week and I've already eaten enough to literally make me sick, so I was happy to find something to use up the rest of them.

Anyway, I know they need to ""ripen" for a couple of weeks, but how long will they last unopened? The cookbook didn't specify, unfortunatly. I know they won't spoil with that much alcohol and using sterile procedures, but will there be a point when the texture or flavor goes off? I'm hoping they'll keep until Christmas (fruitcake and maybe the bourbon ones to above mentioned brother in law). And once opened, does anyone have any idea how long they'll keep in the fridge?

Thanks, and if anyone can suggest a better subforum for this question, please let me know.

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Hmmm...debatable. One year when I was making Japanese plum liqueur, I experimented with cherries (ordinary sweet dessert cherries, not cooking cherries). What happens is that the flavor of the cherries is transferred over time to the alcohol, and the fruit tends to become insipid. After 6-12 months, the liquor tasted almondy, with little cherry fragrance.

If I were much more determined than I am, I would maybe try gently candying the cherries in syrup over a few days, and preserving the resulting glace cherries in brandy to preserve more of the color and aroma. More to the point, it would be interesting to know what varieties of cherry are used for commercial brandied cherries.

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I've got case of brandied cherries from 1999 in my root cellar...............it's going on ice cream anyway - who cares about subtle flavors? :biggrin:

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Mine always last as long as we can ration them ... people routinely come and ask for a jar and/or snag them quickly when offered as gifts. I think we have used ours for two years post preserving and nothing is lost - they are prized possessions. We often eat them heated and served with good vanilla ice cream, sometimes if we are lucky with RLB chocolate sauce :wub:

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quick question - do you pit the cherries? or cook them in any way? I do similar with prunes in brandy (recipe: stuff as many prunes into a jar as will fit, top up with cheap brandy, put lid on, leave in dark cupboard for at least one month, voila) but, as Jen says, it's cherry season...

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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I do similar with prunes in brandy (recipe: stuff as many prunes into a jar as will fit, top up with cheap brandy, put lid on, leave in dark cupboard for at least one month, voila) but, as Jen says, it's cherry season...

asking from across the pond, do you mean "prunes" as in dried plums, or do you mean fresh prune plums?

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asking from across the pond, do you mean "prunes" as in dried plums, or do you mean fresh prune plums?

as in dried plums. The French Agen ones are nice, but really any old brand will do. when they're done they're delicious in tagines (if not strictly correct, with all that alcohol) or baked in a custard or at the bottom of a chocolate souffle.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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It depends on how sweet they are to start with, and how sweet your brandy is. I use about a Tablespoon of sugar for a pint of the sour cherries I get around here. I also add a little bit of water to mine as well. That way they don't get too wrinkly. I'm a leave the pit in person, I love the taste the pits give to the cherry flesh and liquid.

regards,

trillium

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My dad and I made cherry grappa last summer with a hundred pounds of cherries.

gallery_18348_33_1094578440.jpg

and this year, there is still about 15 gallons lefts. Over time though, the cherries have plumped and are now so full of grappa that if you have one, you are basically just doing a shot of grappa. I've seen people stumbling after one or two of these things. Truly lethal, but very tasty.

gallery_18348_33_1094578405.jpg

And this is how things look after you have pitted a hundred pounds of cherries. My hands were red for about a week after, but it was fun and they are quite tasty. Fortunately, we don't have to do this again for another 5 years.

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