A homemade pear liqueur made with brandy gives you the sweetness of a fruit liqueur and the dryness of brandy in one ingredient. This pear liqueur hits the "Do I DIY?" trifecta: easy, cheap, and better-tasting than the store-bought stuff.
- I used Bosc pears, but any pear will do.
- You can substitute another spirit for brandy or replace the vanilla with another spice like ginger or a cinnamon stick.
- Vanilla releases its flavor a lot more quickly than pears do.This is also true of other strong ingredients like ginger and cinnamon. So be sure to taste your liqueur as it infuses to see when you need to remove your secondary flavoring ingredient.
- Straining through the coffee filter is recommended because it catches small, hard-to-see bits of pear that, when left in the liqueur, cause it to develop off flavors more quickly. I recommend keeping it no longer than 2 months. Refrigeration is not needed.
- The fruit you used to make this liqueur is great in desserts or on ice cream, so hang onto it after straining.
- 2 ripe pears, divided (organic preferred)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Wash and chop one pear, discarding the seeds and core. Leave the skin on. Split and scrape the vanilla bean.
Place one chopped pear and the vanilla bean in a sealable glass jar and cover with brandy. The jar should have enough room to add another cup of liquid later in the process. Seal and shake, then let steep for 2 days. Remove vanilla bean, and then let steep for another 3 days.
Chop the second pear, discarding the seeds and core. Add it to a pot, along with the water and sugar, then stir and bring to a boil on medium heat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Let the syrup mixture cool.
Once cooled, pour the syrup (with the fruit) into the steeping jar. Shake and let steep for 2 days. Taste, and if desired flavor is achieved, strain through a fine mesh strainer and then a coffee filter into a bottle or jar.
Fine-mesh strainer, coffee filter, paring knife