Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boerenjongens

Boerenjongens, simply called farm boys, are golden and dark raisins soaked in a sugary syrup and brandy. It is a favorite with the older generation, although it is currently experiencing a small revival with the younger crowds. At birthdays, weddings or funerals, the men would often consume a small serving of boerenjongens, served in a borrelglaasje with a small spoon, whereas the ladies would prefer boerenmeisjes, the female equivalent, made with dried apricots. 

You will also find that boerenjongens have found their way into a variety of other foods: most notoriously as a topping for yogurt, ice cream or pancakes, but also on the market in vla, or as a stuffing in pork roasts. The alcohol fuses nicely with the sugary syrup, and after a week of five of soaking up all those lovely flavors in a dark, cool space, these farm boys are ready to put to work! 

Both boerenjongens and boerenmeisjes are a great gift from your kitchen. They're quick to make, and are open to any personalized flavors: add a vanilla bean or star anise to the meisjes, and infuse the boys with cognac and allspice for a change of taste. 

Boerenjongens
2 cups golden raisins
½ cup dark raisins
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 cup brandy
1 cinnamon stick

Wash the raisins and soak in enough warm water to cover them, for a good two hours. Heat the sugar with the 3 cups of water, bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then set aside to cool. Add the raisins to a glass jar. Mix the cool sugary syrup with the brandy, stir and pour over the raisins. If they’re not covered with the liquid, make another batch of syrup. Add the cinnamon stick, cover and let sit in a cool, dark place for four weeks before sampling. 


1 comment:

  1. Ms. Holten,
    My mom told me about a liqueur her Netherlands born dad, VanderVeen, used to make. I searched for the recipe on and off for years. I found a FaceBook page, Stuff Dutch People Like, (https://www.facebook.com/stuffdutchpeoplelike/?fref=nf), and asked about it. Despite my horrendous spelling and thinking it was made with cherries a helpful person directed me to this page. I wish my mom was still here to taste it but I know my Dutch relatives will love having a taste of their ancestor's concoction. Thank you so much.
    I have a few questions. Could this be made with an equivalent quantity of other dried fruit (cranberries, cherries...)? My mom always referred to Boerenjongens as a beverage. Do folks drink the fluid? How long will it keep? Do you start from scratch every time or do you add to what is left from the last batch?
    I am looking forward to trying more of your Dutch recipes. Once again Thank You
    Sincerely Kay Kaminga (my dad took an m out of Kamminga because he thought his name was too long - smile)

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