Last week’s peach adventure was only a partial pass. The peaches frozen on the sheet pan and then put in a freezer bag are wonderful. They separate very nicely. The canned peaches didn’t work out. Apparently, they really wanted to be moonshine and decided to start their own still right in my canning cupboard. I decided I wasn’t looking to find out if they were safe to eat (or drink), so alas, to the trash can they went.
The ginger peach syrup on the other hand made from the skins? Astoundingly delicious stuff.
Today’s adventure involves a load of pears from an abandoned tree not far from where I’m sitting now.
I used the same technique on the skins (peeled, put in a heavy pot with 2 cups of organic sugar and a little water, and about a quarter cup of Williams Pear Eau de Vie (brandy). Simmered until the house smells like pears (wonderful smell) strained off the skins. Added another quarter cup of brandy and 4 cups of organic sugar. I’ll pour that into a fancy stoppered cleaned bottle I have left over from some Italian Lemonade, let it cool, and put it in the fridge.
As for the pears, I’m stewing about 50 small under-ripe pears in 4 cups of organic sugar, 2 cups of filtered water and half cup of Williams Pear Eau de Vie (Brandy), and I’ll can those the way I usually do rather than trying to get fancy, and probably messing it up because I didn’t hear or missed a step when my grandmother explained her “Cold-Canning” technique. Some of the batch will likely end up in a pie or cobbler once the weather changes and I start baking a lot more when I don’t have to worry about heating up the house with my antics.
There’s always more syrup than pears, so I bottled one plain, bottled one with a split vanilla bean, a couple cardamon pods, a couple star anise pods, some Allspice (whole) and a couple cinnamon sticks, and topped it off with some bourbon to help extract the essential oils into the mixture.
With the last of the syrup, I used the last of my Williams Pear Eau de Vie. (about 4 ounces), the last of my Italian Triple Sec (about 2 ounces), half a pitcher of the syrup, about 12 ice cubes, a bottle of hard pear cider I found in the fridge, and about 4 ounces of Rye Whiskey. Tasty stuff. 🙂 Had I thought to do so, it would have been a good idea to garnish with a couple of those pear slices.