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Boerenjongens and Boerenmeisjes

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pitrow View Drop Down

Joined: 22 November 2010
Location: Newberg, Oregon
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    Posted: 29 December 2015 at 15:53
Boerenjongens and Boerenmeisjes (Brandied raisins and apricots)

Now, it's no secret that the Dutch like their alcohol. Beer, schnaps, advocaat, jenever, whatever it is, they like it. So it's only right that these 'snacks' are popular with the older generation in Holland, though they seem to be making a comeback with the younger crowd as well.

the literal translation is Farmboys(Boerenjongens) and Farmgirls(Boerenmiesjes), the raisins being the boys and the apricots being the girls. It also seems that they are eaten along gender lines as well. The Boerenjonges being favored by the men, and the Boerenmiesjes by the women. They are traditionally eaten for birthdays, holidays or other celebrations as a desert type item.

Typically these were eaten straight from the jar, or served in a small glass dish and, in the case of the Boerenjonges, eaten with an equally small spoon. Of late you will find that they are increasingly used in baking, or as toppings for yogurt, ice cream, or stuffed inside roasts.

The technique for making these is similar for each, however due to the size difference the timing is different so I'll break them up. Oh, I should probably add that in my younger days I attempted to make boerenjongens by simply adding brandy to some raisins and letting them soak. They were horribly strong and frankly didn't taste all that good, so I suggest you follow this recipe instead Wink

3 cups raisins (mix of golden and dark, heavier on the golden though)
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 cup brandy
1 cinnamon stick (traditional) or other whole spice

soak the raisins in warm water for about 2 hours to start rehydrating them. Meanwhile, heat the water and sugar until it comes to a boil. Simmer for a couple minutes then set aside until it's room temp. Add the brandy to the syrup and mix will. Drain the raisins and transfer them to a glass jar. Add the cinnamon stick to the jar and fill it with the brandy syrup. Make sure there's enough syrup to cover the raisins, if not, make a second batch. Cover the jar and store in a cool dark place for about a month. Enjoy!

about 2 dozen dried apricots
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 cup brandy
1 cinnamon stick

Warm up the water and soak the apricots in it for about half an hour, then pour the water into a saucepan. Add the sugar to the water and bring it to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the dried apricots and cinnamon stick and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, transfer the apricots and cinnamon to a glass jar. The apricots will still expand some so don't pack it too tight. Pour in the syrup and make sure the fruit is covered completely. Cover and store in a cool dark place. Check on them every so often and make sure they are still covered, as they soak up the syrup they might become uncovered. If so, make some more brandy syrup and add it to the jar. Test after one month to see if the apricots are hydrated all the way through, and enjoy!
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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Tom Kurth View Drop Down

Joined: 10 May 2015
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 December 2015 at 16:24
In the German-American culture I grew up in, there is a similar thing of raisins soaked in a potent alcohol concoction. I don't know the recipe but it was touted as a 'remedy' rather than as an pleasure dish. Supposed to cure arthritis I think. But then again my paternal grandfather who was a professed teetotaler was known to invent arthritis bouts so as to have reason to access the alcohol-based patent medicines they kept around. Perfectly logical to my way of thinking.

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2016 at 19:03
Mike - in case I haven't mentioned it, I'm very grateful for your sharing the Dutch traditions and recipes. 

This looks awesome, and is sure to be attempted this year when the holiday season comes around. The Netherlands have never let me down, when I've tried their cuisine!
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