I know it is the summer holidays but you should be where you can starting to put food up to see you through the winter. Now is the optimum time when the new crops are coming through is the ideal time to pop something up which give your family a treat later on in the year.
I absolutely adore Cherries and having a bottle of Brandy going nowhere in the cupboard at the moment and so I decided to put it to good use. I have therefore started off a batch of home made cherry brandy for this year's Put Down 2013. This is one of those liqueurs that I have repeatedly made over the years and is one of my favourites. It is relatively easy to make. Equipment is simple I use a large preserving jar with a rubber gasket to keep out any nasties.
You will need:
8oz caster sugar
2 tablespoons split almonds
1 cinnamon stick
1 bottle of brandy
Prepare the cherries by either trimming or removing stalk and then washing the cherries. Carefully then with a cocktail stick prick the cherries in several places as this allows the precious cherry juice to macerate into the brandy. Place the cherries into your sterilised jar with the sugar almond splits and the spices. Pour in the brandy then seal the jar . Leave for three months but shake the jar several times a week to help dissolve the sugar and also transfer the colour of cherries to the brandy to a deep cherry red.. Try and keep in a dark place as keeping the brandy in light will fade the colour. An old trick used to be to put brown paper around the outside of the bottle which helped preserve the colour of the contents.
I usually decant the cherries from the brandy just before Christmas either eating the brandied cherries with some cream (they are very boozy) or in the bottom of a Christmas trifle or dipped in chocolate and served as petit fours after Christmas lunch with a glass of the cherry liqueur which I store in a separate sterilised bottle. Warms the cockles of your heart on a cold winter's day.
Or you can soak some of the cherry liqueur into a home made chocolate sponge, pile it with cherries and cream and make your own version of a Black Forest gateaux very seventies but very delish or why not a Black Forest Roulade. Very delish either way.
Catch you soon.