Christopher is out of town, and in addition to having a "lost weekend" with my sister Mary and going out for mixed drinks with my ladyfriends, I am taking advantage of having the house to myself by engaging in a number of complicated, messy kitchen projects (for instance, learning to make mayonnaise).
My parents, who are also out of town (separately), dropped off a big basket of peaches just before they hit the road for two weeks. Their peach tree has started producing like crazy in the past couple of years, and my world is a better place because of it.
The confluence of these two events has led me to experiment with peach preservation. However it is hot as holy hell here right now, as it is pretty much everywhere else in the United States, and I cannot bring myself to endure canning. The other day I heard someone say, "Satan called, he wants his weather back." That pretty much sums up how it's been feeling here, and I am not about to fire up the stove and stand over steaming pots in the middle of the worst heat wave anyone can remember.
So I turned to this book, which I raved about in more detail last year, for assistance.
I found a great heat-free recipe for "Officer's 'Jam' or Bachelor's Liqueur" which is basically what is known in the South as Brandied Peaches, but without the canning.
Here it is. Since I'm bachin' it this week, I changed the name.
Bachelorette's Liqueur, or Brandied Peaches Sans Heat
Sugar (roughly the same quantity as the fruit or less)
- Cut fruit into pieces and remove pits. Layer it into a stoneware pot or a crock with a lid. After each layer, add sugar (I used far less sugar than fruit). Do not stir.
- After all the layers are in the crock, pour in enough brandy to submerge everything. I topped this off with a plate that fit down inside the crock to prevent any air exposure for the fruit.
- You can keep adding fruit as it ripens throughout the season, just keep topping with sugar and adding brandy. Again, do not stir.
- Mrs. Defacqz of Switzerland who submitted the recipe to Terre Vivante says that the mixture should be allowed to sit for at least 6 months, and is really best after a year.
I'm letting it sit in my 2-gallon crock, alongside the apple cider vinegar in the next crock over.
I'm guessing it's going to be ridiculous over some vanilla ice cream. I'm not sure if I can wait six months.