In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or a blender, briefly puree the blackberries to a coarse consistency. Set a jelly bag or fine-meshed sieve lined with 2 layers of dampened cheesecloth over a large nonreactive bowl. Pour the puree into the jelly bag or sieve and let the juice drip through for about 3 minutes. When it slows to an occasional drip, press firmly on the puree with the back of a large spoon to yield more juice, being careful not to force any pulp through. The puree should yield 1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups of juice. In a large, heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon and cloves. Heat the mixture, stirring often, for about 4 minutes. When the sugar begins to dissolve, reduce the heat to low. Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is clear, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Remove from heat and transfer the sugar mixture to a medium nonreactive bowl. Let stand at room temperature to cool completely. Remove and discard the spices. Gently whisk the blackberry juice and brandy into the cooled sugar mixture until well blended. Using a funnel, pour the blackberry cordial into dry, sterilized bottles, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cap or cork, using new corks, and store the bottles in the refrigerator. Let the cordial mellow in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Store, refrigerated, for up to 6 months. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 pint-sized bottles. Reprinted in The Sacramento Bee 8/13/97. NOTES : You can use frozen blackberries in this recipe, which has been made in American homes since colonial times. When packaged in a decorative bottle, this libation makes a great gift. Recipe by: The South: The Beautiful Cookbook (Harper-Collins, 1996) Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #760 by Crane Walden
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