I am suddenly behind on everything - work, holiday tasks, shopping, etc. etc. I was planning to do a lot of Christmas food related thing - you know, make a stollen or six, maybe a Christmas pudding (should have been made a month ago), cookies, etc. I may still have time for the cookies, the rest I’m not sure.
There is one thing that I have done that took me maybe 10 minutes max, and part of that time was spend let’s say, sampling the wares.
To give it a fancy name, it would be Macerated Mixed Dried Fruits. What it is is a bunch of dried raisins, currants, apricots, and so on put in a non-reactive container (like a big glass jar), covered with liquor, and left in a dark place to do its thing. The fruit becomes softened and infused by the liquor, and the liquor takes on the flavors of the fruit.
It’s best if it’s been left for at least a week, but you can start using it the day after.
You can get fancy with the dried fruit selection, the liquors, or both. Just make sure the dried fruit you are using does not have added sugar. I stuck to the basics with the fruits (dark and golden raisins, currants) but splurged on the liquors: a mix of Williams pear schnapps, kirsch (cherry schnapps), and orange-scented Cointreau. You could use brandy, rum, Scotch, Bourbon, vodka…just as long as it’s something with a pretty high alcohol content.
What can you do with this? A lot.