Author Notes: Most years, in early December, my mother starts making a jar of gin fruit for the holidays. Her recipe is mindlessly simple -- layer your favorite dried fruits with some spices, cover with booze -- so I thought I'd play around with a brandy variation to see which I prefer. My mother pointed out that you may need to replenish the gin or brandy after a day or two, as the fruit soaks up the alcohol. And the fruit is best consumed within a few weeks, before the fruit's sugars begin turning the booze to syrup. I'd suggest passing it alongside a cheese course, spooning it over ice cream or cake (with some of the macerating liquid!), or adding it toward the end of cooking roast pork. - Amanda Hesser
Makes about 1 quart
- 1 cup dried figs
- 1 cup plump prunes
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons raw sugar
- 4 star anise pods
- 8 thin slices ginger
- 8 long strips clementine peel
- About 375 ml brandy
- In a large bowl, combine the dried fruit.
- To a lidded 1-quart glass jar, add 1/4 of the fruit. Add 1/4 of the sugar, star anise, ginger and clementine peel. Repeat 3 more times. Pour over enough brandy to just cover the fruit. Seal the jar with a lid. Let sit for a week before eating.
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