How To Make Brandied Fruit – Preserving Fruit Without Canning

Brandied fruit is a delicious treat. It’s wonderful as a topping over ice cream, or over a warm pudding, or even added to a punch bowl. It is a simple treat that also makes for a great hostess or holiday gift.

When fruit is in season, you may want to can it, dehydrate it, or freeze it, to store for later use. Some people also preserve fruit by making it into wine, juice or jelly but have you ever tried making it into brandied fruit?

jars of brandied peaches and raspberries
photo by Jeanie Beales

You can make nearly any fruit into brandied fruit. The best stone fruits to add to brandy are peaches, apricots, and cherries.

Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries will also work, but they may become very soft and mushy, so are probably not advisable if you are concerned about presentation, but they are absolutely delicious spooned over ice cream or a hot pudding and look good on cakes, or added into baking mixes.

The reason they are great for pantry storage is that the brandy and sugar act as a preservative. There is no need to process this fruit in a canner, as the sugar and alcohol will act as the preservative

The fruit will be ready after four weeks. To serve, simply spoon the fruit over cakes or ice cream. Other ways to enjoy brandied fruit:

  • Baking into a brandied fruit cake
  • Adding to sangrias, or brandied fruit cordial
  • Muddling into a glass with mineral water
  • Blending into a cake frosting or topping
  • Layering on top of turkey or roasts for additional flavor
  • Blending into an adult jam for crackers and cheese plates
  • Serving with adult pancakes
  • Blending into a brandied fruit compote
fruit ready to prepare

Which fruit is good to make into brandied fruit?

Some suggestions for fresh fruit to preserve in brandy include:

  • ☑ Peaches – yellow cling are particularly good
  • ☑ Pears
  • ☑ Cherries
  • ☑ Raspberries
  • ☑ Blueberries
  • ☑ Mulberries
  • ☑ Plums
  • ☑ Melon – cantaloupe, honeydew
  • ☑ Apricots

You can use a single type of fruit in the jars, or a combination of fruit types. The fruit is usually fresh, but you can also use dried fruit. A recipe from Holland called Boerenmeisjies, which means farmer girls, preserves dried apricots in brandy.

There are lots of recipes for canning apples with cinnamon, but these involve the traditional canning recipe with boiling a syrup, adding some brandy to give a flavor.

However, because these recipes call for boiling the brandy most of the alcohol content is lost, and this article is concerned with a quick way of preserving the fruit without the hot canning method.

Remember, with our brandied fruit recipe, do not heat the brandy as this destroys the alcohol content, and we need the alcohol and the sugar to act as preservatives for the fruit – besides being intoxicatingly yummy.

Fresh fruit should be properly washed, cut and examined and any bruised sections discarded.

Where did the idea of brandied fruit come from?

We are not too sure exactly who first thought of the idea, but the Dutch were great on making brandy and would probably have experimented with fruit added to brandy.

We do know that in the 1700’s in the Alsace region of France, bottles were placed over a budding pear tree and fastened into place, allowing a full size pear to grow inside. The bottle with the pear in it is then cleaned and topped with brandy.

This tradition continues today with premium brandy sold with a pear in the bottle, motivating conversations about how it got in there – and even more intriguing, how to get it out.

About the only way it to use a length of piano, or similar type, wire, make a small loop, insert the length into the bottle and cut off small pieces of the pear – after the alcohol has been consumed, of course.

We are taking the easy way and cutting up the pear, then putting it in the bottle with the brandy so it’s easy to spoon out the fruit.

OK, not quite the conversation starter of the whole pear in a bottle method – but if you do have a pear tree, why not give it a try.

jars of brandied peaches and raspberries

Brandied Fruit Recipe

Heather Harris
5 from 1 vote
Course Desserts

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups fruit of choice
  • 1 cup brandy approx.
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup soft brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Peel, pit and cut the fruit into slices or chunks. If you are doing cherries, just pit and leave whole. Raspberries, blackberries, and other similar berries can be left whole.
    sliced peaches marinating in sugars
  • Mix the sugar together in a bowl and add the fruit, tossing very gently so the fruit is covered in the sugar mix and set aside for an hour.
    raspberries coated in sugar
  • Make sure your jars and lids are clean and sterilized.
  • Place the fruit in the jar and pour over the brandy to cover the fruit. Gently turn the jar upside down to allow air pockets to escape and brandy to penetrate the fruit.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to allow sugar to dissolve.
  • After a day open and check the jar as the fruit absorbs the brandy and it may not be covering the fruit, so you might need to top up with a little more brandy.
  • Cap the jar again and leave the jars in a cool dark place to mature, giving them a gentle shake every couple of days to ensure even penetration of the brandy into all parts of the fruit.
  • After one month (30 days, or 720 hours, if you are counting down in anticipation) the fruit will be ready to start using. At this stage transfer to the refrigerator and use within three months.

What are some ways you would enjoy brandied fruit? Which one would you try first?

making brandied fruit pin image

updated by Jeanie Beales

6 thoughts on “How To Make Brandied Fruit – Preserving Fruit Without Canning”

  1. Hi, I’m not sure I understand the recipe. Do you use 1 1/2 cups of brandy for each pint jar, or 2 cups? It says both. Thanks!

    1. Platte River Girl

      5 stars
      I’m presuming since the alcohol & sugar preserve the fruit (preventing bacteria, mold, etc to form), you will need enough to keep the fruit covered.

    1. The alcohol is lost when heating. You are to make a simple syrup and let cool and then add your brandy, rum or whatever you want to use. I made some with rum. So yes you need to keep the alcohol content high to preserve the fruit.

  2. I’m confused, instruction #5, bring to a simmer. Bring what to a simmer. The fruit is already in the jars isn’t it. I would love to make this recipe but I don’t understand it.
    My father in law kept brandied cherries on the countertop all the time and would put a spoonful on vanilla ice cream, yum! He would just add a little more brandy, sugar and cherries to the pot when needed.

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