Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tipsy Fruits

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my border print pants. I've decided they deserve a "yea" - or really a "Yaaay!!!!"  I may have to buy a dramatic black hat and take a vacation on the Riviera just to make the outfit complete. And thanks, too, for the endorsement of the jumpsuit. Clearly, I've got some sort of experimental phase going on fashion-wise at the moment, and I'm really thrilled to be indulged.

Speaking of experiments, I embarked on a kitchen experiment over the weekend.  At this time of year, I literally have to walk through a farmers market to make my way home on Thursdays. One of the stalls - Vacchiano Farms - is run by a family that Phineas grew up with, and they always point us to what is freshest, ripest, etc. It's good to know your farmer!

So, I've been overindulging in fruit for the last month, and last week it escalated into a crisis of my stomach not being able to keep up with my purchasing (I gave myself a tummy ache long before the fruit ran out). To preserve my hoard of lovely ripe beauties, I decided to give in to vice, buy some mason jars and "can" my fruit. It crossed my mind to make some jam, but traditional canning is sweaty work involving sterilization and such. So, I decided it would be cooler and easier to use a high-octane canning solution: vodka! I also used rum and brandy.

Here's the very simple "recipe":

Load your cut up fruit with some sugar (a few tbsp) and lemon peel (optional) into clean mason jars.

Cover with the liquor of your choice. Thump the jar a few times to get any air bubbles out and let the fruit settle.

Screw on caps and store in a cool, dim pantry. Done!

Since the alcohol kills any bacteria, this is pretty foolproof as far as preservation methods go. The hardest part is cutting up all the fruit. Oh, and the waiting.  Your tipsy fruit will be best in about 3-6 months, but really they'll be pretty tasty in 6 weeks.

I made a bunch of combinations - peach + brandy, strawberry + vodka, sugar plum + rum, cherries + brandy, and mixed berry + vodka. Really, just about any fruit or combination of fruits with any alcohol of choice will work.

Serving options are endless: dribbled over ice cream or pound cake, as the fruit in sangria (white or red), baked into muffins, cakes or tarts (the alcohol will cook off in the oven, but leave a nice flavor behind), in a trifle or fool, flambeed as cherries jubilee, churned into frozen yogurt - or cherry-vanilla ice cream!, as the garnish for a mixed drink, or use the liquor in an aperitif or spritzer.... see, there is no end of good ways to use up your drunken fruit.


Sheila said...

That is awesome... I must get to the market... no run and on my way home stop at the liquor store.... great technique. Thanks for sharing.

Reethi said...

This is total genius!