Cherries poached in brandy is a really simple fruit preserve to make, and once made these jars can last for many months preserved. Bottling fruit like this, in a brandy syrup, has always been a great way to preserve the flavours and fruits of autumn, and to provide a store of instant desserts during the barren winter months. When you want to serve them, serve with whipped cream, with a little bit of the brandy syrup spooned over.
Spiced-Plums In Brandy
Makes about 900g of cherries to pot.
- 900g cherries
- 600ml brandy
- 1 lemon (rind peeled in a long, wide strip)
- 350g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick (in two pieces)
Pick over the cherries, de-stalk, wash and dry them. Peel off a wide strip of lemon peel (zest only, no white pith). Put the brandy, lemon rind strip, caster sugar and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan, and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the cherries and poach on a gentle heat for 20 minutes until soft. Remove the fruit from the pan, with a slotted spoon, and pack the cherries in sterilized jars.
Boil the remaining brandy syrup rapidly until it is reduced by a third, then strain this thickened syrup over the cherries, to cover, add the cinnamon stick. Seal the jars tightly. Label when cold and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dark place.