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Brandied Cherries. Recipe

Brandied cherries are a deliciously sweet and tangy treat that have been enjoyed for centuries. Cherries have long been a beloved fruit, and brandying them is a wonderful way to preserve their flavor and enjoy them year-round. This recipe has a rich history, with variations of it found in many different cultures.

The process of brandying cherries involves soaking ripe black cherries in a mixture of brandy, sugar, and spices. The brandy infuses the cherries with its distinct flavor, while the sugar adds sweetness and helps to preserve the fruit. The addition of cloves adds a subtle hint of spice, complementing the natural taste of the cherries.

To begin the recipe, gather very ripe black cherries and place them into a large wide-mouthed bottle. It is important to choose cherries that are fully ripe, as they will have the best flavor and texture. Avoid using cherries that are overripe or mushy.

Once the cherries are in the bottle, add two pounds of loaf sugar. Loaf sugar, with its large crystals, is ideal for this recipe as it dissolves slowly and evenly. The sugar not only sweetens the cherries but also helps to draw out their natural juices.

Next, pour a quart of brandy over the cherries and sugar. The brandy acts as a preservative, ensuring that the cherries last for an extended period of time. It also imparts its unique flavor to the fruit, giving the brandied cherries their distinct taste.

To enhance the flavors further, add a few cloves to the mixture. Cloves are a popular spice that pairs exceptionally well with cherries. They provide a warm and aromatic element to the brandied cherries, enhancing their overall taste.

Now, it's time to prepare the cherry juice that will be added to the mixture. Take a few more cherries and bruise them gently. Place them in a saucepan along with some sugar and simmer the mixture until the cherries release their juice. Strain the juice and add it to the cherries and brandy in the bottle. This step adds an extra burst of cherry flavor to the final product.

Once all the ingredients are combined, cork the bottle tightly. It is crucial to ensure that the bottle is well-sealed to prevent air from entering and spoiling the cherries. Store the bottle in a warm, dry place to allow the flavors to meld and develop over time.

As the weeks go by, the cherries will continue to soak up the brandy and sugar, becoming plump and infused with delicious flavors. The longer the cherries sit, the more pronounced the brandy flavor will become. They can be enjoyed as a standalone treat or used in a variety of dishes and desserts.

Brandied cherries have a rich culinary tradition and are not only enjoyed on their own but also used in various recipes. They can be added to cocktails, giving a delightful twist to classic drinks like Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. The cherries can also be spooned over ice cream, cheesecake, or used as a filling in pastries. Their sweet and boozy flavor profile adds depth and complexity to many dishes, making them a versatile ingredient.

In conclusion, brandied cherries are a delectable treat with a long history. They are a wonderful way to enjoy the flavor of cherries throughout the year and can be used in a variety of culinary creations. Whether enjoyed on their own or incorporated into other dishes, brandied cherries are sure to delight your taste buds. So, gather your ripest cherries, some brandy, and get ready to embark on a flavor-filled journey with this delightful recipe.

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