Uses for Alcohol Preserved Fruit

Boozy Concord Grapes OR
Brandied Plums OR
Rumptopf


FRUIT preserved in alcohol makes a marvelous dessert topping, spooned over ice cream, poundcake, panna cotta or ricotta, and it has other uses:

BOOZY FRUIT TART Line a tart pan with sweet tart dough and fill with frangipane. Top with pieces of fruit and bake until golden.

CAKE GLAZE Mix the liqueur with enough confectioners? sugar to make it thick and creamy, but still runny enough to pour, then spoon it over simple cakes.

CLAFOUTIS Use preserved Concord grapes in place of cherries.

COBBLERS, CRISPS AND PIES Add pieces of boozy fruit to fresh fruit.

DRUNKEN FOOL Pur?e the fruit and gently fold into whipped cream, to taste. Chill before serving.

FRUITY APERITIF Put a piece of fruit and a little of its liqueur in the bottom of a flute and top with sparkling wine.

HAIR OF THE DOG MUFFINS Add diced fruit to your favorite muffin recipe. If you are planning to serve these for breakfast, note that much, but not all, of the alcohol will evaporate.

ROASTS Warm brandied plums or Concord grapes and serve with roasted pork, chicken, duck, quail or venison.

TIPSY TRIFLE Use pieces of fruit in a traditional custard-and-cake trifle.

UPSIDE-DOWN TIPPLE CAKE Sprinkle a well-buttered cake pan with brown sugar, then layer with slices of drained fruit. Cover with your favorite butter cake batter and bake until done. Serve with cream whipped with a little of the fruit liqueur.

Brandied Plums

1 pound small plums
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups brandy
2-inch cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise.


Wash plums and prick them all over with a needle. Place them in a 1-quart jar with a tight lid and stir in the sugar. Pour in brandy, covering plums by at least an inch. Add cinnamon and vanilla, cover and shake a few times.

Let jar sit in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator) for at least 6 weeks and preferably 3 months. If the fruit floats to the top, turn the jar over.

Yield: 1 quart.

Rumtopf

1 pint mixed berries (like raspberries, blackberries or strawberries)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 bottle dark rum (1 liter), more as needed
1 pound peaches and nectarines, washed, pitted (pits reserved) and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 pound mixed plums, washed, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch thick.


Place berries in a large jar. Gently toss with 1 cup sugar. Let sit for 2 hours, then top with 1/3 of the rum. Do not stir.

Cover berries with peaches and nectarines. Top with 3/4 cup sugar and another 1/3 of the rum. Do not stir.

Add plums. Top with remaining sugar and cover with rest of rum, leaving room for 1 inch of liquid on top. Do not stir.

Loosely wrap reserved peach and nectarine pits in a thick towel. Use a hammer or kitchen mallet to crack the pits and extract the kernels. Crush the kernels gently and add to the vessel.

Cover and let sit in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator) for at least 3 weeks and preferably 12. If the fruit floats to the top, turn the jar upside down so all the fruit falls to the bottom (you may have to do this several times over the weeks).

Boozy Concord Grapes

1 quart (about 1 1/4 pounds) Concord grapes, washed, stems removed and deseeded (optional)
1 cup sugar
2 to 3 cups brandy


Place grapes inside a large jar and, using a wooden spoon, break the skins. Stir in the sugar.

Pour brandy over the grapes to cover by an inch. Cover and store in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator) for at least one month.

Yield: 1 quart.