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Bottled Cherries

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Would like to preserve some of our abundant cherries and bottle them in brandy or similar.  My question is do I need to do the hot bottling method as described by Mrs Beeton, i.e. putting them in a hot oven/hot water for a period of time or can I just go ahead and put them, together with some sugar and the aforementioned booze into sterilized sealed jars, as per a recipe I've just got from Google?  What does anyone else do?

Thanks, Lynda


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If you haven't used boiling water or oven method, how are the bottles sterilised?

It's not worth putting your goodies into jars which haven't been sterilised immediately prior to use ... all you need is one bit of grime or grease and the whole jar could go mouldy.  It's such a quick procedure - don't risk the dissapointment, and expense!


MMMMM Cherries in brandy ..... does life get much better??!!  Lovely goodies for the winter.

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i just put them in jars/ bottles with large neck with the alcool 45% you can buy in any supermarket, and a bit of sugar. no need to sterilize, the alcool will kill any germ.

leave the bottles on the sun, shaking them every few days, for 3 weeks, then keep in a dark place.

the alcool should eventually take a light brown color and taste like amaretto, from the cherry's stones.



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If you have the slightly  later black cherries you can cook them in a little kirsch and then keep them in jars, stab - wouldn't let me say pr ick - the skins of a few with a cocktail stick to help the juice come out when cooking.  A couple of years ago I made cherries in gin and we still have some, still fine but all jars were sterilised first.             
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Last year and the years before I made sloe gin, plum vodka, cherry vodka, fig gin, blackberry vodka and cherry brandy.

I made them all by putting the fruits into a large 2L fizzy drinks bottle and adding the sugar and then the alcohol.  Put the lid on and shake every day for 2 weeks.  Then shake when you remember.  If you are doing sloes you need to freeze them for 24 hours first so that the skins split or else you can pr-ick them first which is a tedious job.

I decanted it into glass bottles through a filter paper and we ate the cherries etc with ice cream. (Dont try eating the sloes though as they are horrible when eaten).  Store in a dark cool place and get it out around Xmas and enjoy.

We have just finished the last of what I did last year and it was wonderful.  Put them in some nice glass bottles and give them as xmas pressies too.

I wash everything out with hot water and a tiny drop of bleach before I start and then rinse well.  We never had any problems doing it this way.

Gail xx

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Many thanks for all replies - really helpful [:)]

I will sterilise all the jars but the Mrs Beeton 'way' I referred to was to put the jars with their contents into hot water/the oven, and that's what I was a little unsure of.  Now totally clear about what I'm doing and off to the shop to buy lots of booze.  Might try a few different types and see which we like best (hic!) [:D]

Thanks again for all your suggestions.

Lynda x


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Lynda there is no need to put the jars and their contents in hot water.  Brandy/gin/vodka are all sterilising in their own right.  Dont forget they put Napoleans body in Brandy to bring it back, or was that Nelson?  Can't remember now.

What I do is put the oven on at 100 degrees and put the washed but wet jars in there until they are dry, usually about 15 minutes.  Then take them out and allow them to cool but stand them upside down on a clean tea towel.  Dont put the cold fruit or alcohol into them until they are cooled or they will crack.  If you heat the alcohol then the alcohol content will evaporate off and you end up with non alcoholic/low alcohol fruit.

If you were bottling vegetables in brine or meat products then you do need to totally immerse them and the contents in boiling water for up to 2 hours but that is a whole different thing.

Gail x


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  • 2 weeks later...

If preserving in alcohol do not use the Mrs beaton method of cooking in the oven.  All this will do is boil off the alcohol - which is what you we re using to do the preserving.

Preserving methods - the simplistic view

alcohol - do not cook

water/own juice - cook

sugar - cook

freezing - blanche except for soft fruits which can be frozen raw


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