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New England Recipes Masthead I New Egnland Recipes Masthead II
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Brandied Peaches

What are Brandied Peaches?

Peaches are a delicate fruit and require preserving to keep long term. Brandied peaches were one of several methods used to can or preserve peaches. Brandied peach recipes are listed under relishes and preserves.

Methods of Preserving

1) Canned: peaches are cooked in a sugar and water syrup and placed in jars
2) Brandied: peaches are cooked in a sugar and water syrup, brandy is added then placed in jars
3) Brandied: raw peaches are placed in a crock jar and covered with a layer of sugar, this is a natural way to make brandied peaches
4) Brandied: raw peaches are placed in a crock jar and covered with a layer of sugar, and brandy or high proof alcohol
5) Pickled: peaches are pickled in vinegar, sugar and water, then placed in jars
6) Dried: raw peaches are cut and dried

Recipes

Brandied (Cooked) Peaches
Quantity
Old: “Heavy Syrup” One pound peaches, one pound sugar, one cup water
New: “Light Syrup” One pound peaches, one cup sugar (equals half pound), one cup water

Method

a) Bring a pot of water to a boil, quickly dip peaches in boiling water, take out and rub fur off, leave whole
b) Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil, simmer a few peaches at time in the syrup for five minutes or until tender but not soft
c) Drain and place in hot sterile jars
d) Old: continue cooking the syrup until it was heavy
   New: stop the syrup cooking after peaches are cooked
e) Old: Add equal amounts sugar/water syrup and brandy
   New: Add two to four tablespoons brandy and fill jar with syrup
f) Old: Seal jars
   New: Seal jars and process in boiling water bath 15 minutes 
g) Store in cool dry place for 3 months before using

Brandied (Raw) Peaches

a) Dip in boiling water and rub off skin, leave whole
b) Crock (ceramic jar with wide mouth), pack a layer of peaches, pour in a layer of sugar, repeat until filled; weight down with a plate and heavy object (clean rock)
c) Peaches will shrink; add peaches and sugar daily for approximately 6 to 8 days until shrinkage stops
d) Cover with plate and weight down, leave to ferment in a room with a constant moderate temperature; skim off scum periodically
e) It takes a full six weeks for fermentation to produce brandied peaches. At that point, the brandied peaches can be placed in sterile jars and sealed.

Uses

Brandied peaches are a form of canned peaches. Canned peaches are served and eaten right from the can for dessert. They are also used in many recipes calling for peaches. It is assumed brandied peaches were used in the same ways.

History

Peaches are associated with the southern states. However, peaches grow up north. They were also imported. This made them available in New England.

Recipes for brandied peaches date back to1784 (or before) in London. The Boston Cooking School Cook Book in its 1884 edition gave two recipes for canning peaches: 1) sugar and water syrup and 2) brandied peaches. By the 1912 edition preserving was expanded to include pickled peaches. These three recipes were carried forth through the 1950 edition (the last edition the author owns) and potentially in later editions. The Joy of Cooking’s 1995 edition has a recipe for brandied peaches.

Three cook books dedicated to preserving New England cooking: 1938 Good Maine Food, 1947 Secrets of New England Cooking, and 1954 Eleanor Early’s, New England Cook Book each carried a recipe for brandied peaches.

Brandied peaches were adopted by New Englanders into their regional cooking.

Bibliography

 

 

 

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