Kissing Winter Goodbye: Homemade Pear-Infused Brandy

Normally this time of year would be a seasonal cusp, ebbing and flowing between a dwindling winter and promise of summer.  This year however it has been unseasonably warm punctuated by a brief attempt at snow last week.  As winter disappears quickly into our rear view mirror I had the idea to infuse some brandy with the last of winter’s pears.
Though pears are seen to be a winter fruit they too are cusp fruit with some of the last varieties such as the Red D’Anjou lasting into May and even June.  I love the color, flavor and look of this pear.  Unlike some other counterparts it does not bruise easily, get mushy or change color as it ripens.  The skin is a bit thicker to me as well which probably aids in its structure holding steady.
PEAR INFUSED BRANDY
The quantity of this recipe can be changed to meet your volume desires by keeping the proportions the same.
Yield:  A smidge less than 1 ½ cup pear brandy
Ingredients:
·         1 1/2 cup brandy
·         1 large pear, ripe but not mushy, peeled, cored cut into 8 long slices (green or red D’Anjou preferred)
Add the brandy and pear to a Mason jar or other sealable glass jar/container.  Place in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, turning over and back to right side up daily.  After two weeks taste brandy and if achieving desired flavor concentration, drain, remove pears, reseal and store in a dark, cool place. 
If desiring a denser flavor, leave to infuse longer, tasting periodically until desired flavor is achieved.  Note:  the pears used for infusing can be used for another dish afterwards although any pears exposed to air at the surface of the liquid will have turned brown and be visually undesirable.

Comments

    • says

      Hi Sarah! I am a self-confessed infuse-a-holic (the unending Mason jars pushing out my pantry supplies tell the tale). I have not infused bourbon myself before but am sure it will be fantastic! You and Dulcie create such innovative cocktails I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  1. says

    Beautiful! In Germany, there's a maker that grows pears inside the bottles, then fills in the brandy. Makes for gorgeous flasks that you can reuse to flavor more brandy!

    • says

      Kiri I think I've either seen photos of this or there is a place in the U.S. (Oregon maybe?) that does the same thing! When the pears are very tiny they put a bottle over them and allow them to grow. The sight of the tress is so enchanting, covered with these bottles! A bit like a bottle 'drying rack' with leaves.

    • says

      Great idea Kirsten, to make it for a gift. The only thing is the pears don't look great if exposed to oxygen by the end (I'm sure they taste great but probalby best to remove them before gifting!).

  2. A thought says

    Just did up a jar with some fresh asian pears I picked up in Palisade, CO last weekend while stocking up on peaches! Can't wait to give this a shot. I wasn't sure what type of brandy to use, so I went for a VSOP. If its too strong of a flavor, next time I'll try a California brandy since they tend to be lighter then other brandy from around the world.

    • says

      Hi Donna. I have only made liqueur with fresh fruits. I’m not sure how freezing would affect the flavors of the fruit in terms of infusing them after thawing. I don’t think it would hurt anything but may not be as potent flavor-wide in the infusion. Also freezing typically changes the structure of the fruit which might mean that it would break down more easily in the infusion. Having said that I’d try it. If the fruit breaks down you an always strain the infusion before storing it more long term.

      Also Asian Pears have very little flavor in general. For this infusion in particular I would suggest using a different, more traditional pear variety to gain the full flavor.

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