Traditionally, 'boerenmeisjes' were a way to preserve apricots. The steeping liquor was served as a drink at special occasions. I prefer having more apricots and less liquor. These brandied apricots are fantastic served with pancakes and/or vanilla ice-cream. They also make great culinary gifts. Make them ahead, store in jam jars and present with a pretty bow.
- 1 2/3 cup water (400 ml)
- 4 cups dried apricots (600 g)
- 1 cup white sugar (200 g)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup brandy/cognac (250 ml)
Rinse apricots under running water. Place the apricots in a large saucepan, along with the sugar and water. Soak for 24 hours.
Sterilize jam jars (see tips below). Remove the lemon zest by slicing the skin off the lemon (you should have three or four strips of lemon skin). Add lemon zest to the saucepan, bring to the boil and then immediately remove the apricots. Place apricots in jars.
Now reduce liquid until it thickens. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and add the brandy/cognac. Remove the lemon zest. Spoon the liquid over the apricots and shake. Seal the jars tightly and store in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks before consuming.
Makes enough for 2 jam jars.
Sterilize jam jars and lids by washing them in warm, soapy water, rinsing thoroughly and then allowing them to dry in a warm oven (250 degrees F or 130 degrees C)