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.