Brandy Fruit

January 8, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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 This Recipe


  1. In a large bowl, combine the dried fruit.
  2. 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.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Anise|Brandy|Fruit|Make Ahead|Winter|Vegan|Gluten-Free

Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

megabals November 17, 2014
I'd like to start this, but I can't decide what booze to use. Which did you prefer - gin or brandy?
Author Comment
Amanda H. November 17, 2014
Brandy or rum are friendlier -- but I like the character of gin.
cohdia August 14, 2012
sounds like our Jamaican fruit soak that we use to make Fruit Cake. Awesome...
Choirbell June 30, 2012
This sounds lovely, I have some different dried fruit left over. I think I'll try this recipe to use them up. Thanks!
Author Comment
Amanda H. December 20, 2010
The prunes are my favorite, but I never thought to make it with just them. Really glad you're enjoying it and that you've played around with the recipe. Thanks for your note!
kary December 19, 2010
I'm glad you featured this recipe again. <br /> <br />I made a simplified version of it a couple months ago and it has been sooooooo good. But I had forgotten where I got the recipe. <br /> <br />I just used some really fresh soft prunes from the coop, a cinnamon stick and some brandy. I must have put a teeny amount of sugar because I think I was following this roughly. (That's the part I couldn't remember -- whether I had used any sugar.) <br /> <br />WOW! The brandy had turned dark and rich. It was very complex. Rich, rich, rich. <br /> <br />It was going to be for gifts but now I am keeping it for myself. <br /> <br /> <br />I put it in a dark place for about 6 weeks and then broke into it. A prune or two and a little bit of the syrup is a nice little before bed treat. <br /> <br />I'm glad to see your note about using it up before too long. I wouldn't have remembered that. I'll definitely be making this again and again. <br /> <br />