Monday, July 5, 2010

Just in from Picking Blackberries-recipe for Brandy

I usually don't pick in the heat of the day, but I didn't feel good enough to get into a serious project, and I didn't want to waste the day doing nothing either.
I checked out a couple close spots, barely got 2 cups but they were nice ones cause they were behind ponds. I then ventured out in the woods where Larry said he spotted a nice patch. It would have been perfect except for the fact of our extreme heat and no rain for most of June, and still. These were the berries that get long and huge compared to some of the other bushes. What a sad sight to see them all drying on the vines.
Also a real shame is the acorns and nuts are falling off the trees immature. The wildlife may be short changed another winter with no nuts to eat.
I went back and washed my berries and measured and still needed at least 2 more cups to make up a batch of blackberry brandy. So I went back out into one of our fields and was able to pick enough. Usually I can fill a pail in an hour or less, and today was in and out for over 2 hours and barely got 2 quarts.

Blackberry Brandy
I would double or triple this, to get a decent batch for all the work.

2 1/2 cups ripe blackberries that have been rinsed. 2 cups brandy, 3/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon zest.( I can't afford to buy the brandy will be using vodka instead)

Crush 2 cups of the berries and place in a quart canning jar, making sure that your container has an enamel lined lid. Pour in enough brandy to cover the berries. Add equal amounts of berries and brandy to reach the top of the jar, make sure that all the berries are covered by the brandy. Also make sure that the jar is almost overful, then cap. It is a good idea to date your jar, particularly if you have more than one batch going at a time. Note I do not do this, I find a food grade bucket with lid and make my brandy in this. This recipe will give around one wine bottle so adjust accordingly.

Allow this to steep in a cool, dark place for 2 month. Once every several weeks shake your jars. After two month carefully pour out the jar through a strainer. Follow this original straining with two more through damp cheesecloth.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and zest to make a simple syrup. Bring to a boil and simmer 2-3 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Using a funnel, pour your strained brandy into a bottle, then add the simple syrup, but add a coffee filter to your strainer first to strain out the zest. Cover this tightly and shake to blend. Let this sit a room temperature for at least one month. It will be at its peak for excellent flavor in 1 year, better too at 6 months-it is worth the wait.

When I make these brandys and liqueurs I use food grade plastic buckets that I buy from my Wal mart bakery. Gives everything more space to work and I don't have to worry about anything overflowing.
I think this recipe looks like a good one, but now that I have typed it up, I don't think I did this one, really not sure now-lol

anyways here is the link to my apple brandy recipes-which I use alot now for different fruits. I like the addition of the white wine in this one alot. I think it mellows out the flavors better.

These homemade brandys are fun to make, share, and to give as gifts.


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