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Peaches in Brandy

ingredients

serves: 10
1.5 kg firm peaches
4 cups (1 litre) 1 3/4 pint water
3 lb (1.5 kg) preserving or granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml brandy
1 vanilla pod
small piece of cinnamon stick
3-4 cardamon pods
4 cloves
small piece of muslin

method

1. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Refresh in iced water and carefully peel them.

2. Put the water and 800 g of the sugar in a pan. Bring to the boil, skim off any froth, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to make a syrup.

3. Gently put the peaches into the syrup. Return to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and leave to cool.

4. Place 600 ml of the syrup in a small pan with the remaining sugar, place the spices in the muslin and tie with string and add this to the syrup.

5. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Skim, then boil rapidly until the mixture reaches 104°C, (219°F) on a sugar thermometer. Cool slightly, then add the brandy. Pack the peaches loosely into the hot sterilized jar.

Remove the spice bag from the pan and pour the syrup into the jar, making sure that the peaches are completely covered. Seal the jar.The peaches will be ready to eat in 2 weeks.

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