Boeren Jonges

About twenty-three years ago my Grandpa asked me to spend the evening with him learning an important traditional recipe. Of course I was very curious what this recipe could possibly be because the man only cooked when he was out in the woods, camping! He wasn’t a puttering-in-the-kitchen kind of guy, so I couldn’t imagine what kind of heirloom recipe he might want to pass on to me!
Grandpa explained to me that evening that he was going to teach me how to make Boeren Jonges. Huh? I had no clue what he was talking about. Well, it turns out that Boeren Jonges is a Dutch recipe for brandied raisins. Boeren Jonges apparently means “Farmer Boys.” There is another recipe for “Farmer Girls” that involves brandied apricots, but I can’t spell the name of that one!

First, Grandpa explained, I needed to heat a pound and a half of raisins in just enough water to cover them in the sauce pan to boiling and boil for two minutes.

Thoroughly clean out two quart canning jars. Into each jar pour 1 c. brandy, 3 sticks of cinnamon, and three 2-3 inch pieces of lemon rind. Divide the raisins evenly between the two jars. Pour enough of the water the raisins cooked in that the raisins are completely submerged under the brandy.

Use lids and rings to cap the jars tightly. Let sit in the cupboard for 6-8 weeks. When the raisins are done with their brandy soak, they will be quite potent.

Sometimes Grandpa ate a tiny bowl of the raisins. Sometimes he topped his ice cream with them. There are a number of holiday spice cakes that would benefit from being topped with these raisins too.


7 thoughts on “Boeren Jonges

  1. *hic* sownds deleeshus…..*hic* wanna gimme a coppla moor?? *hic*


    Brandy is OK in eggnog and only in miniscule amounts. However, time with grandpa….priceless. I love reading your site. Your food is so full of love.

  2. (Laura here.)Thanks, Kate. I know you are on the same page with us–that making good food is NOT just about making good food, but about showing love for the people who will be eating it.

    By the way, the Grandpa who taught Barb to make Boeren Jonges is the same Grandpa who, whenever Kirk and I would visit him and Grandma when we were first married, would wait until after Grandma had gone off to bed, then he’d give us a naughty look and say, “Want some hot cocoa? You know, with a little ticky?” He kept a little bottle of brandy or something in some top cupboard somewhere, and would dole it out in wee drams, but only when Grandma wasn’t looking. It always made us laugh, because he was not a huge drinker at any time, but loved getting away with it when we were in residence. Ah, such fond memories of Grandpa!

  3. Barb, the spelling is Boeren Meisjes. I called Doug’s dad and he makes them with sliced peaches instead of apricots and simply pours rum or cherry brandy to cover the peaches. He allowed that apricots could be substituted for the peaches. He said they were great on ice cream.
    Laura, was that little “ticky” by any chance Dutch Genever (pronounced “yinaver”)? He gave me some and it was the Dutch version of firewater.

  4. I forgot. The flavor is in the soaking, about a month, to allow the fruit to thoroughly absorb the liquor.

  5. Likely not Genever. Jonge Genever is what’s also known as “young gin” and is definitely pretty rough, kind of like Everclear. They have a name for people from Schiedam (famous for the stuff) – “genever-nose”, which I have come to figure out explains the red noses of older Dutchmen.

    But it was also explained to me that “brandy was invented by the Dutch”. Seems they used to be importers of French wines, but being the good frugal sailors, they figured they could ship more of it if they extracted water first. But why reconstitute it, when it tasted good just as it was?

    My Dutch mother told me this one, not sure how true, but you know how urban legends get started…

    And Boeren Jonges? I remember them just as described above!

    Cheers – from an old Meisje

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