Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients


9 Comments

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums

This time of year is very busy for food preservationists. It can be very easy to get overwhelmed with tomato projects. But this is very important. Put the tomatoes down and get yourself some plums. You know, those lovely Italian Prune-plums. The same variety we used to make Plum Liqueur.

Boozy Plums in Syrup

I have tried a lot of new canning recipes this year… but I have a favorite that I am about to share with you. And I promise you will love it!

Armed with a plethora of Italian prune-plums, I made a batch of plum sauce and then decided I wanted to make some stewed plums with a sugary-boozy sauce. We typically make boozy-sugary preserved cherries, but I didn’t make any this year so I thought this would be a good stand in for holiday gift giving. We opened up a jar last night, and it was pure heaven! I just finished mopping up the last of the sauce with a piece of angelfood cake. That is a combination that you must try.

Italian Prune Plums

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums (makes 8 pints) adapted from Tall Clover Farm

4 to 4 1/2 lbs plums (we used the Italian prune plums, but you could probably use any variety)

1 lb. dark brown sugar

4 c. water

2 oranges

1 1/2 – 2 c. brandy (or other booze of your choice) – optional

4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

4-8 pieces of star anise – optional

8 whole cloves

1 1/2″ piece of ginger, cut into 8 slices

Prepare a hot water bath canner, jars, lids, etc. Sterilize the jars.

Halve the plums and remove the pits.

With a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the oranges in long strips, being careful not to remove the white pith. Juice the oranges and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, and orange juice. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

In hot sterilized jars, place the following in each jar:

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 whole clove

1 slice of ginger

1 star anise (optional)

1-2 long strips of orange zest

Pack the plums into the jars, cut-side down. Pack the fruit really well, leaving 1 inch of headspace.*

Pour 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of brandy into each jar (if using)

Pour sugar syrup into each jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Use a chopstick to remove any air bubbles and add more syrup if needed.

Wipe the rims of the jars, and top with jar lid and jar ring. Bring to finger-tip tightness.

Place pints in a water-bath canner and bring to a boil. After it comes to a full, rolling boil, process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the lid. Leave jars in canner for another 5 minutes. Remove from canner.

*The headspace is very important, be sure to leave a full inch.

Boozy Plums in Jars

When I was making the syrup, I was afraid it would be overly sweet. But I assure you, the finished product will be perfect. It tastes delightfully of plums, while having hints of orange and a gentle spice of cinnamon, clove and ginger. (I have not tried the ones with star anise yet…)

We made a few jars with the star anise, and a few without. We even made some jars without the brandy for those who are alcohol-free.

If you would like to try a different spirit in this, I think bourbon or rum would be very nice.

Please try making these. You will thank me later…

Related Posts:

Plum Liqueur

Prune Brandy v. Prune Bourbon

Boozy Prune Jam

Boozy Spiced Sugar Plums on Punk Domestics


28 Comments

Bourbon Apple Pies

Apple pie bourbon, and bourbon apple pies!?! Yes, that’s right.

Last winter I posted a recipe for Apple Pie Bourbon, which is an infusion of apples, cinnamon and vanilla bean in bourbon. The result is a delicious concoction that tastes like you are drinking an apple pie (perfect for the holidays). That post continues to be one of our most popular. And if you haven’t made it yet, now is a good time to start.

This is a great time of year to infuse apples, as well as other fall fruits.

Bourbon-soaked apples strained from Apple Pie Bourbon

When you strain the apples out of the bourbon, save them so that you can make Bourbon Apple Pies (discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean). You will be glad you did! If you aren’t ready to use them immediately, you can keep them in the freezer.

Bourbon Apple Pies

For the filling:
4 scant cups bourbon-soaked apples (from Apple Pie Bourbon)
2 T. Butter
1/2 -3/4 c. Brown sugar
2 T. Lemon juice
2-3 pinches of salt
2 T. Flour
2/3 c. Walnuts (toasted, and roughly chopped)

For the crust:
Puff pastry (one sheet, or a half of a package)
1 egg
1 T. Water

Roughly chop the bourbon-soaked apples into 1-inch pieces. Place the apples, butter, 1/2 c. brown sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. When the apples are tender and much of the liquid has started to thicken, make a hole in the center, and whisk in the flour. Taste the mixture and if desired, add another 1/4 c. sugar. Simmer and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Cook until your apple mixture reaches this consistency

Remove from heat and stir in the toasted walnuts. Set aside.

While the apple mixture is cooking, set out your puff pastry and allow to thaw. I’m not much of a baker, so I opted for the pre-made puff pastry. Alternatively you could make your own crust and use the filling in any manner of pies. We made these into small hand pies.

When the puff pastry is thawed, coat your countertop with a thin layer of flour and roll out the pastry until it is about 1/2 thickness of the original. This would make about 4 large hand pies. We made into 6 small and 2 medium hand pies, but the ones with more apple mixture were preferred. Next time I will make these all medium to large sized.

Cut the puff pastry into the size and shape of your hand pies. Place on a baking sheet that has been lines with a silicone liner or parchment. Spoon the apple mixture onto the dough. Don’t spoon too much liquid into the pies, it will run out and get messy while baking.

Small apple hand pies

Medium-sized hand pies

Crimp the ends/sides of the dough together and vent with a few holes on top.

Create an egg wash by whisking together the egg and 1 TB water. Brush each pie lightly with the egg wash.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the dough is fully cooked and golden brown.

The small pies took about 15 minutes, and the medium pies took about 23 minutes. If you are making larger pies, they will take a little longer. Watch them closely.

Allow them to cool, then serve.

I made these small to accommodate a larger group, but next time I would make these the medium to large size. The apple mixture is the star.

The filling would also be nice served on pancakes or ice cream if you want to skip the crust. Any way you make this, it will be delicious.

Enjoy!


32 Comments

Halloween Infusion: Caramel Apple Liqueur

What are your Halloween plans this year? Perhaps a better question would be, what are your Halloween cocktail plans this year?

There are lots of great ideas and inspirations out there for Halloween drinks, and Evelyn from Momsicle suggested we get together for a pre-holiday Halloween-inspired infusion party. Poppy from Funny or Snot and Krista from Mostly Mommyhood were also on board for an early afternoon Happy Hour, and our group grew to five as our new friend Jodi from The Mama Gut joined the festivities.

We made most of the drinks “fun size” so that we could taste-test all of them. While I was never able to understand how a miniature candy bar could be “fun”, I was definitely on board with “fun size” cocktails!

Caramel apples were always a big treat around Halloween when I was growing up. So I set out to create a Caramel-Apple Liqueur, and based on the reactions at our fun-sized party (and how quickly these little shots disappeared) this is a keeper!

Apples in Vodka

Caramel-Apple Liqueur

2 Granny Smith Apples- cored & sliced

2 c. Vodka

1/2 c. Caramel Syrup (or to taste)

Core and slice the apples, and place in a glass jar. Pour vodka over the apples, making sure you have enough to cover. If needed you can add more vodka. Close the jar and place in a dark, cool location. Allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks.

Strain and filter through cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Prepare Caramel Syrup. I followed this recipe from Homebrew Underground (I made only 1/3 of the recipe).
Allow the syrup to cool completely before adding to your apple infusion.

Apple Infused Vodka and Jar of Caramel Syrup

Add caramel syrup One Tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired taste. I thought that both the apple flavor and caramel flavors were enhanced after chilling the liqueur in the freezer, so err on the side of adding less caramel than you may initially think.

We served these chilled in shot glasses with a slice of a caramel apple, and they were delicious! If you like caramel apples, you will not be disappointed.

Other seasonal drinks included cider with peanut bourbon, Payday Candy Bar shots, Chocolate-Orange martinis, and Ginger-lemon-pear vodka.

Our mini-party also included some fun Halloween snacks thanks to Krista. Find her directions for Frankenweenie pizzas here.

I can’t wait to hear about your Halloween cocktail plans…

Cheers!

Frankenweenie Mummy Pizzas

Monster Cheese Heads

Caramel Apple Shots

 

Related Posts:

Halloween Infusion Part 2: Chocolate-Orange Liqueur

Apple Liqueur

Apple Pie Bourbon

 

Caramel Apple Liqueur on Punk Domestics


11 Comments

Chocolate Bourbon-Peanut Clusters

These chocolate peanut clusters are made with the bourbon-soaked peanuts from our last post, Peanut Bourbon.

I wasn’t sure how these were going to turn out, so I didn’t measure precisely. These are rough estimates, but I don’t think the amounts are all that important. The recipe was following the same idea and inspiration from Oh She Glows (which we also used on the chocolate covered candied bourbon cherries.)

Chocolate Bourbon-Peanut Clusters

2/3 c. Bourbon-soaked Peanuts (from the peanut bourbon)

1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 TB Coconut Oil

2 healthy pinches of Sea Salt

Roast the peanuts in a low oven (225-275 degrees) tossing occasionally, until the peanuts are nearly dried out. Let sit until the following day.

Heat chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or double boiler until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir in the peanuts, and sea salt. Spoon onto a plate or parchment paper and place in refrigerator or freezer to set. Keep in refrigerator until you eat them (which probably won’t be that long…)

The sea salt is what really made these perfect. You could probably substitute a flaked salt or finishing salt with great results. We had a hand-picked, Oregon Sea Salt which gave it just the right flavor.

Enjoy!


15 Comments

Sesame-Honey Vodka

I like sesame, and I like honey. When I was a kid, we used to make a variety of a honey-sesame candy, and somehow I thought it would be good to infuse vodka with these flavors. … it is delicious!

Sesame-Honey Vodka

1 oz Sesame Seeds

1 c. Vodka

2 TB Honey

Stirring frequently, toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan on low, until they start to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add all ingredients to a small canning jar or other sealing jar. Shake, and allow to infuse in a dark, cool place for 3-4 weeks. Strain and filter, with cheesecloth and a coffee filter, then enjoy!

This infusion really tastes like sesame and honey. I think it will be great in cocktails… any ideas?

Ok, so back to these sesame seeds… Since I’ve been on a roll trying to use my infused ingredients, I decided to keep the infused, vodka soaked seeds. I toasted them on low in the oven until they started to brown, stirring occasionally. I then roughly followed the instructions for a sesame-honey candy (from Nourished Kitchen), and … they were pretty good! They disappeared pretty fast.

If you like sesame, you will like this liqueur.

Cheers!
Sesame-Honey Vodka on Punk Domestics


17 Comments

Boozy Prune Jam

Happy Mothers Day!

Our plans changed a bit this year, and we had to come up with a portable breakfast. What we came up with turned out to be a winner.

Remember the prune liqueur taste test from a few weeks ago? Well we still had the prunes soaking in the booze. We finally strained them and decided to make something useful.

Boozy Prune Jam

1 generous cup booze soaked prunes (half of our prunes were soaked in bourbon, half in brandy)

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

pinch of salt

- Make sure the prunes are very soft, and have soaked in the alcohol for a long time. (ours had soaked for a month, so they were very soft and spreadable inside)

- Quarter the prunes, then give them a rough chop.

- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer on medium/low, stirring often and breaking up the prunes.

- Reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer until this reaches the consistency of a thick sauce or loose jam. (It will thicken up a bit upon cooling.) This will probably take about 5-10 minutes.

- Remove from heat and allow to cool.

- Store in refrigerator. Will keep for a few weeks.

We made some mini cream scones to spread this on, and it was perfect! In fact, this spread was so tasty, I could eat it by the spoonful. It was such a hit, I’m tempted to get a big bag of dried prunes to soak in booze for the sole purpose of making this jam and canning it (I’m a canning addict).

If you don’t have booze soaked prunes, you could probably start with dried prunes and stew them on low in a bit of water and brandy or bourbon until they get really soft. Then chop them and proceed with the recipe above.

After the success of this spread, I think we are going to start using a lot more of our booze-soaked ingredients.

Have a great Mother’s Day!


18 Comments

Coffee Bourbon Milkshake: Quite possibly the best milkshake you will ever have!

I suppose it is possible that I will have a better milkshake at some point in my life. But up to this point, this is easily the best milkshake I have ever had.

Coffee Bourbon Milkshake

2 c. Vanilla Ice Cream (we used natural vanilla with vanilla bean)

3 oz. Coffee Bourbon

Blend in a blender, food processor, or with a hand mixer until very well blended and creamy. At this point, it will be pretty runny. Return it to the freezer, and allow to cool for several hours or longer if possible. If you are very impatient, you can drink it any time. But if you make it in advance and allow it to cool, it will reach the consistency of a soft serve ice cream. Because of the alcohol, it will not freeze too firm, it will maintain this consistency.

I served this milkshake at the get-together with fellow bloggers Evelyn, Poppy, and Krista.  And I know I heard the words “this is the best milkshake I’ve ever had”. I mixed this up a day in advance and was very happy with the result.

If you like thick, creamy milkshakes, and if you like coffee… you know what to do.

ENJOY!