Thursday, 26 September 2013

Pears in Brandy

 
Now I don't like Brandy, I don't like any 'shorts', I've been known to swish Whiskey around my mouth if I have had toothache and no tablets available but that's about the extent of it.  If you ask after a meal if I would like an 'Irish Coffee' I would recoil in horror, contaminate perfectly good coffee with alcohol ..... no thank you!
 
But I do like Pears in Brandy!!
 
The alcohol preserves the pears so well and gradually seeps into the fruit in a most warming and mellow way.  The longer you leave them the nicer they get, we are still eating out of a jar from 2010 that Mum made for us, and believe me you only need a couple of slices with a dollop of cream or ice cream to feel like you have really had a tasty luxurious dessert.
 
And it's so simple ....
 
 
..... peel your pears into a bowl of salted water (this keeps them white much better than lemon and doesn't make them taste even slightly salty don't worry) ...

 
... drain and then top and tail them cut them into quarters and remove the core and then slice in half again  ...
 
 
... simmer gently in some mild sugar syrup (just a couple of tablespoons of sugar and water) until just a little bit firmer than you would like to eat them, mine were ready in four minutes, ...

 
... and then using a slotted spoon place into your sterilised jars.
 
 I made these in two halves as I used my smaller pan, while I made the second batch the first lot of poached pears slid down inside the jars and found their own level so I topped two of the jars from the third.
 
 
Once you have packed your jars with as many pears as possible top up with Brandy.  The more pears you get in the less Brandy you will need.  Make sure your lids are on tightly and then turn the jars upside down once or twice so that the Brandy mixes evenly with any of the sugar syrup that was clinging to the pears.

 
I got six jars from my 35cl size bottle of Brandy which cost me £5.50 last year, so each jar has cost me around a pound to produce including the cost of the sugar, the pears were free off my Mum's tree - thank you Mum.  As each jar does at least four desserts (2 people x 2 Desserts) with either cream or icecream and occasionally some meringue as well, it means we are having a luxurious tasty pudding for around 50p including the extras.
 
Wow .... real luxury on a budget, I just surprised myself with that one.
 
 I've just checked prices and the cheapest you can get Brandy at the moment is around £1.50 per 100ml but that is in a larger 70cl bottle (Sainsbury's Basics) which would of course make you 12 jars at even less than a pound a jar or you could use half for bottled pears and half to drink.
 
 
Now ....  lurking at the back of the cupboard was this.   Lovely Hubby always seems to be given Whiskey as presents or as a 'thank you'  for doing a job or favour, it must be this Scottish accent, but he hates the stuff and is a Port man through and through.  So they get pushed to the back of the cupboard or re-gifted ... our milkman was VERY lucky last year with a bottle of the very finest vintage as his tip!! 
 
As this one is open I can't really get away with doing that ..... can I?   NOOOOOO that would be soooo wrong ...Lol !!
 
So I'm thinking Pears in Whiskey ..... I may just give it a go and see, but  just a couple of jars to be going on with.  I could of course always give one away as a gift if we're not keen on the flavour ourselves.
 
Oh and a little mention for Kev - none of these is suitable for baby :-)
 
Sue xx
 
 
 
Simple September - Top Tips #17
 
Take things you don't like and try making them into things you do.  If you really don't like the finished products (but it is completely edible, drinkable and safe) then give them as gifts.
 
My jars of Pears in Brandy (or Whiskey) would look lovely for Christmas gifts with a sprig of holly and a label tied onto the jar saying what it is and giving some dessert ideas.

20 comments:

  1. I have boozy plums on the agenda for making today with some plums given to me by a friend.
    If you are ever given a bottle of Tia Maria, prunes soaked in Tia Maria/ sugar syrup are to die for :)

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    1. Well I don't like Tia Maria or prunes, but taking my own tip, if I ever get a gift of either or both I will give this a try, thank you :-)

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  2. I am very tempted with this one, Sue, as I have some pears, and I think there is some brandy left from last year's brandy butter! They look delicious and it would be different way to preserve the pears too. Thanks for sharing x

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  3. Ooh, sounds great. We have loads of pears from our garden that are rapidly going off and really not sure what to do with them - this one just hit my to do list :)

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  4. This is brilliant, I've heard of apricots or peaches in Brandy as a dessert but didn't realise pears would work. I have pears, I have brandy so just need to know how long you poach for ie how soft should the pears be? before putting in jars.

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    1. The pears should be just a little bit firmer than how you like to eat them, they soften slightly on soaking in the Brandy but not much.

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    2. Thank you,Thats just what I needed to know,Pressies for everyone this year will be pears in brandy!

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  5. Sounds like the perfect way to use up the brandy at the back of the cupboard that only comes out for Christmas cake making in November! And 'twould be good for presents the month after that! That you for this, and for the excellent reading you give us! Sorry it's taken me so long to really discover you- but I'm glad to be arriving at the start of your new chapter xx

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  6. I bet they are nice with a blob of ice cream.

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  7. The pears in brandy might be nice at Christmas if a bit of mixed spice was put in the jar also. Yummy!

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  8. They look so good ... I may have to try it :)

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  9. Ooh - top idea fro pressies. Aldi has pears on their super six veg at the mo. :-)

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  10. Those pears do look tempting. Talking of Aldi, have you priced their brandy? I haven't but their spirits are supposed to be very good as well as cheap. I shall check out their vodka when I make my quince vodka.

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  11. These are making my mouth water. Although you maybe right not very good for a baby. Although maybe I could make them with calpol...

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  12. Do you can these? Also, are you using quart or pint jars? They look fantastic!

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    1. They are just normal sized 1lb jam jars.

      I do exactly as I say in the post and nothing more. I have never 'canned' anything that I preserve although I may look into doing that in the future, if I make larger quantities.

      Although doing things my way has proven to be as effective as canning as we are currently eating food that was put into jars over four years ago and it is perfectly fresh.

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  13. I would like to preserve pears from my tree whole. They are Golden Spice Pears, bitter even when ripe, but I hope they will sweeten and maybe improve if soaked in a brandy too. I like the idea of the alcohol as a preservative because it also kills germs. I would like to preserve them in small batches: don't they tend to spoil after being opened?

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    1. No, the alcohol continues to preserve them, although I do keep them in the fridge once opened. We have eaten a jar from the fridge over a year after opening and the fruit was just as lovely to eat as when the jar was first opened.

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  14. I found his recipe and your blog while searching for a way to use up several kilos of pears given to me by a friend. I am very fond of pears and of brandy so a combination of both will be perfect for me!

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  15. Hi sue
    How long do the keep once in jars. I have a pear tree in the garden and you recipe looks lovely.

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