I seem to remember way back when, that my mom and grandma used to do brandied peaches and then bury them really deep in the back yard. The only things I remember were them packing the jar with peaches and filling the jar with sugar. At this point, I'm not sure how they finished, but they put lids and rings on them and then my dad would bury them. They got left for about 3 months or so. I don't have that recipe, but does anyone else out there know or remember how to do this?
I just came across your request as I was looking for something else, but a friend of mine just sent me a recipe that you will like. Here it is: I have done brandied fruit before, it is so easy. Fill a big jar(like you use for pickled eggs) with fruit any kind, I use peaches , pour sugar in over the fruit until it is all covered. Put the jar in a paper bag and put on shelf for a few months and wa la brandied peaches!
It is obvious that the peaches or other fruit needs to be kept in the dark, which is probably why your family buried them. I hope this helps.
Seems like filling the rest of the jar up with brandy would probably be the next step.
I looked at the recipes for brandied fruit I have copied down from my mom's old French cookbook-- They all involve either filling the jar up with fruit and sugar and brandy, or else boiling up a sugar syrup and soaking the fruit in that for a couple of days before adding brandy and sealing it up in a cool dark place for 2 months or so. They seem to recommend turning the jar upside down every now and then to gently mix the contents around.
I think as long as the alcohol content of the jar is high enough, you can't really go wrong--it's not like it'll spoil with that much booze in it.
I think that any distinction in method--i.e., soaking in syrup first vs. just throwing some sugar and brandy in-- probably has to do with improving the texture of the fruit in the end.
Last summer I made some jars of boozy cherries. I didn't use any of those recipes, I just put some sour cherries in jars with vodka and sugar. The result was less than perfect but the cherries were well preserved for months and months. But they were still quite sour, and the cherries were rather hard and stiff and colorless. I guess that's how they (and potentially other fruit) react to being soaked in hard liquor-- Hence why some recipes recommend soaking the fruit in syrup before adding booze.
Anyways that's my theory, and it's quite probable that peaches act quite differently than sour cherries since they're so juicy and sweet to begin with.
Google "Brandied Peach Recipes" and you'll get a lot of them, including a good New York Times article on the subject that includes a warning about botulism and is worth reading. I don't know why you'd bury them, unless it was to keep them cool in the days before refrigeration.