Make Ahead

Brandied DriedĀ Fruit

January  8, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Makes about 1 quart
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • megabals
  • Choirbell
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • Thoroughbred Siler
    Thoroughbred Siler
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

7 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?
Amanda H. November 17, 2014
Brandy or rum are friendlier -- but I like the character of gin.
Thoroughbred S. April 7, 2019
Moonshine is the best to use with dried fruit
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!
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.

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.

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.)

WOW! The brandy had turned dark and rich. It was very complex. Rich, rich, rich.

It was going to be for gifts but now I am keeping it for myself.

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.

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.