How To Make Brandied Plums- An Old Fashioned Favorite

The pressure is on with food preservation at my house. Everything's coming out of the garden and apples and pears are ripening. That means I need to finish preserving the last of our Italian Plums. 

Do you want to preserve food but don't know where to start? BRANDIED PLUMS is a great place! Preserving fruit in alcohol like Brandy is an old fashioned, safe and simple way to enjoy summer in the dead of Winter.

Dehydration is my preferred method of plum preservation, but I decided to make a couple quarts of a favorite that I haven't made in a few years...BRANDIED PLUMS. This is by far the easiest way to preserve fruit! I actually hate canning but I love having canned food put up more, so I usually set my goal at having at least 100 jars of canned goods. The rest I freeze, dehydrate and ferment. They all take time, some more than others but it really is satisfying staring into the canning cupboard & freezer at all the lovely food you've put up. Like I said, this time of year I'm pressed for time, so while I've dehydrated a bit of plums I thought I'd finish off the rest with the easiest recipe of all.

I love them in baked goods like a quick cast iron cake with brandied plums baked in, straight out of the jar on ice cream or topped over ricotta cheese as an appetizer.

These little gems do pack a punch though, so they're not for everyone. They get soaked in booze so they're pretty strong. But used the right way are a delicious treat!

When I first got into food preservation I was nervous and a bit apprehensive. I've learned along the way it's really not scary at all, quite easy and most satisfying. Brandied Plums was one of the things I made during my first summer many years ago where I started putting food up. It seemed less intimidating and easy. I recently took a poll on Instagram and found out that 50% off my followers preserved food and out of the 50% that did not 92% wanted to. As I said preservation can be intimidating to start and this is really a great recipe to begin with. So behold the easiest, fastest and fail proof mode of preservation.



1)You'll need fresh Plums (I use Italian Plums) that are washed well, cut in half and pitted. Avoid any fruit that has started to spoil, you really want the best for this. I have only preserved plums this way but cherries or other stone fruits would also be good I'm sure.

2) Brandy, I don't use the high end brands but I avoid the cheapest as well. I go for something in the middle. You'll want to make sure it's 40% alcohol, an 80 proof is perfect. I would however avoid using anything over 80 proof, as that would make it way too strong. You can use other 40% alcohols as well, I've seen others use Vodka, but I like the flavor of Brandy with fruits much better.

3) A mason or kilner jar to hold your contents. If using a jar that has a metal lid, you'll want to put wax paper or cling wrap down first that way the metal band and lid won't corrode. I prefer kilner jars but have found that mason jars with plastic lids work very well. Clean your jar and lid well with hot soapy water.

4) You can add vanilla beans, hazelnuts or almonds to infuse your fruit with those flavors. If adding, put those ingredients in the jar first as smaller objects will be more prone to float up and you want to keep everything below the brandy.

5) With clean hands fill jar with plums, filling to the top of the shoulder of the jar. Leave the neck of your jar free of fruit, which will leave plenty of room for the brandy to cover the fruit. You want your plums in the jar tightly, which will help keep them from floating above the alcohol.

6) Fill your jar to the very top with Brandy. Make sure that the plums stay completely submerged in the Brandy. Keeping your plums below the Brandy will keep them well preserved. If they come above the Brandy they will be exposed to air and will be more prone to spoil. Making sure that they fit tight will insure that they stay below the Brandy. If you are concerned at all, feel free to use a fermenting weight or something that would work similar.

7) Store in the refrigerator. I would let them infuse for at least 3 weeks before eating. I tend to wait a couple months and usually pull them out for the first time around Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can scoop out just how many you need and put the rest back in the refrigerator. If needed you may need to top with more Brandy to keep them completely covered. These will last 4 months in the refrigerator, which means that come Winter you can still be eating Summers bounty.

I made a quick IGTV video you can watch HERE if you wanted to see me put a jar together.

While this could easily go unsaid I thought I'd better just put it out there that this recipe is intended for adult consumption. This is not for children!

Get creative, they're great on their own but add a fabulous flavor to baked dishes like cakes and such. If you try them let me know in the comments your favorite way to use them. Plus don't forget when all the plums are eaten you will then be left with lovely plum infused Brandy.

If you liked this simple recipe make sure to check out my favorite easy scone recipe, you could easily swap out the cranberries for these brandied plums.

As always thanks for being here and I hope you try this easy recipe!

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Erinn Boitano
Erinn Boitano


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