Brandied Dried Plums with Orange Zest
Dried plums steeped in Armagnac brandy with orange zest, cinnamon and cloves makes a perfect holiday gift. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or rich chocolate cake.
4 cups (about 24 ounces) pitted dried plums
2 1/2 cups Armagnac
2 cups strong brewed black tea
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped orange zest
4 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In medium bowl, combine dried plums and Armagnac; set aside. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring tea and sugar to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in dried plum mixture, orange zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 20 minutes, uncovered.
Spoon into jars with lids for gift-giving. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 1 month. Remove cinnamon sticks before serving. Serve warm, spooned over vanilla ice cream, if desired. Can also be served warm in individual dessert dishes, topped with whipped cream and crumbled macaroons or gingersnap cookies.
- Armagnac is an aged French brandy; other brandies may also be used. When using other brandies, increase to 3 cups; decrease tea to 1 1/2 cups.
- To brew strong tea, use 2 standard-size tea bags per 2 cups boiling water.
- For orange zest, use zester or vegetable peeler to remove orange portion only from orange; chop finely. Grated orange peel may be substituted for orange zest; decrease to 1 tablespoon.
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