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Confiture du vieux garcon
by Annik • Thu 21 Jun 2012 19:44
Has anyone every tried making confiture du vieux garcon? No, it isn't jam, it is a gloriously alcoholic concoction made by bachelors ("old boys") using up their summer fruit crops, which is fermented with eau de vie and eaten/drunk at Christmas.

My dear friend Chantal makes it each year and it's wonderful. She says: "It's really easy. In an earthenware pot with a good lid put a layer of fruit then a layer of sugar and cover it with alcohol, and keep on doing this all summer with your fruit, then seal it up, leave it to ferment and have it at Christmas or for a special celebration the following year." Hers blew one's mind and was fantastic.

I am squeamish and reluctant to use a 100-yr-old pot like hers (she inherited it from her mother) and am ready to try it in a large Kilner Jar. She is on holiday so I can't consult her but we have got blackcurrants and redcurrants that need a good home, not to mention the fruit one can buy on the market.

Can anyone give me any tips, or will I be the Pontnoir guinea-pig?

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Jun 2007
Re: Confiture du vieux garcon
by virtdave • Fri 22 Jun 2012 09:16
I was inspired to try something similar by one of my fellow hunters here, who passed around an excellent quince liqueur (ratafia de coings) he'd brewed up, and for which he gave me the recipe....our place in California is near an abandoned quince orchard, so I collected a basket of them. Basically, I just marinated the chopped-up quinces for a few days after deseeding them, strained the result thru cheesecloth (etamine), added an equal measure of grain alcohol (you can buy this in any large supermarket in France), with 300g. of sugar per liter, into an earthenware pot (any non-reactive pot will do) and covered it up in the cellar for 2 months, then put it into bottles. It was fine the first year, but was really excellent after a year's time.
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Sep 2008
Re: Confiture du vieux garcon
by pili-pala • Fri 22 Jun 2012 22:50
Annik: I have to admit that when I read the title I did think it was refering to Old Boy's Jam!

Sounds interesting though... Let us know how it goes.
Is it "la" or is it "le"?
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Apr 2010
Re: Confiture du vieux garcon
by wilderking • Sat 23 Jun 2012 22:23
Hi, I think this is basically a 'rumtoft'. I made a couple a few years ago, one in a 'proper' rumtoft pot and one in one of those big sweetie jars we used to see in sweet shops when we were kids (!) Both worked well, and I made quite a few 'knock your head off' trifles and flans with the fruit. :) One thing to bear in mind, though, is that the concoction needs to be kept in the dark while it ferments, so if you make it in a kilner (or other glass) jar you will need to put a paper bag over it, or cover it with a cloth.

Good luck and happy eating/drinking!
Mar 2011
Re: Confiture du vieux garcon
by lestroisours • Mon 25 Jun 2012 09:48
Hmm... I have had a kilner jar filled with pruneaux d'agen, topped up with brandy for two years now, and the level is now going down through consumption of course. What you are describing, can't be a lot different. The brandy has taken on a "je ne sais quoi" flavour, and is delicious, and the prunes go in to enliven pork or chicken dishes.

We got the prunes from a french friend near Agen. Some years ago we stayed with them for lunch and evening meal. WIth a different wine with each course of food, we finished up with armagnac. Anne declined, and accepted the offer of a "prune" in this case a plum, which she accepted. It arrived in a glass steeped in even older armagnac than I was drinking. It anaethetised her mouth for ages, no small feat. :evilgrin:
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Oct 2007
Re: Confiture du vieux garcon
by Dave • Thu 07 Jan 2016 15:37
I was looking though these old posts to find some ideas for using our extra fruit up for the coming season as we just didn't know what to do the the extra this year and so a lot of it went as windfalls.

This looks like something that I could try and might enjoy next Christmas. How did yours work out Annik?
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Aug 2004
Re: Confiture du vieux garcon
by Annik • Thu 07 Jan 2016 17:02
Unfortunately it looked really REALLY unappetising. I tried it in early 2013 and just left it. I must have another taste next time we go to France, maybe some extra time "maturing" may have helped. I was sad because it had been an interesting exercise and the alcohol was quite dear! I will report back...
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Jun 2007
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