I have been participating in the Gastropost challenges hosted by the National Post for the last couple of weeks and really enjoying myself. I missed the very first challenge but I am hoping to be able to keep up and enter every week from here on in. Now that my no reEATS year is finished, I feel ready to take on another regular challenge and doing one thing a week is much more appealing to me than a daily challenge.
This week, the challenge was to join team cherry or team strawberry and defend your case. The "secret" challenge that was given to members was to do make some sort of berry preserve and one of the examples was to make either a Pimm's Strawberry jam or some brandied cherries. I just happened to buy a bottle of Pimm's yesterday so although the jam was tempting, I didn't feel like making jam in this weather and we all really love summery cocktails (hence the Pimm's) so brandied cherries made more sense. I didn't use their recipe but loosely followed the recipe on Food 52 because it didn't require all that sugar and it was easier and faster, frankly and I have done something similar before.
Stay tuned for cocktails using these cherries.
2 cups of pitted, halved cherries (scant pound of whole cherries)
1 cup cherry brandy
1 tbls sugar
1 slice of ginger
2 or 3 wide strips of orange peel
wash and pit your cherries. I don't own a cherry pitter so I went old school and cut them in half and dug out the pit.
Put all of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as it's bubbling, take it off the heat and let it cool completely.
Ladle into a clean mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks. Let them sit for at least a few days before you start using them so the flavours have a change to really muddle. I can't vouch for any longer than that because they have never lasted any longer than two weeks but I have read that these will keep for at least a month or so.