Peaches in Brandy

Peaches in Brandy is a well-known and very luxurious conserve. The peaches should be stored in vacuum-sealed jars and left to mature for

4 to

6 months – remember that the longer you leave the peaches to mature the better they will taste – so do not be tempted to sample them too soon!

2-lb. small peaches

1 lb. sugar

2 pints water

1 pint brandy

Place the peaches in a large heatproof mixing bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover them completely. Set aside for 3 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove the peaches from the bowl. Discard the water. Skin the peaches, cut them in half and remove and discard the stones.

In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to moderate and bring the syrup to the boil. Carefully lower the peach halves into the syrup and poach them for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, lift the peaches out of the syrup and place them in clean, dry preserving jars, filling the jars three-quarters full. Set aside.

Peaches in Brandy is a rich and luxurious conserve.

Pour 1 pint of the syrup into a medium-sized saucepan. Discard the remaining syrup. Place the pan over moderately high heat and bring the syrup to the boil, stirring occasionally. Boil the syrup, without stirring, until it registers 220°F on a sugar thermometer, or until a teaspoon of the syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball when rolled between your fingertips.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brandy. Combine the mixture thoroughly and pour it over the peaches in the preserving jars.

Seal the jars with their vacuum lids and store them in a cool, dry dark place for at least 4 months before using.