Friendship Brandy Fruit Starter

"This version of fruit starter uses brandy, not yeast, just to get things started. This delightful concoction is used in cake mixes and served over ice cream or pound cake. It gets its name because you share it with friends so it makes a great gift in a pretty jar. You will need a place to keep a large jar at room temperature. It takes a couple of minutes daily for "care and feeding", but the smell alone is worth it! Possible substitutions or additions: fruit cocktail, apricots, mandarin oranges or pears. Finally found this version on since my grown daughter, Kat is allergic to yeast. NOTE: Since this is fermented, this fruit is not for kids unless used in baking."
photo by Kat's Mom photo by Kat's Mom
photo by Kat's Mom
Ready In:
6 cups




  • TO START: Combine all ingredients in a clean, large glass jar.
  • Stir gently with wooden spoon.
  • Cover and let stand at room temperature for three weeks, stirring at least twice a week.
  • Fruit is fermented when it is translucent.
  • CARE AND FEEDING: Stir mixture daily.
  • Every two weeks add one cup sugar and one cup of fruit and stir gently. Alternate fruits each time.
  • Cover and let stand at room temperature at least three days before using.
  • Do not add fruit more often than once every two weeks.
  • Do not delay adding fruit for more than one or two days past schedule.
  • IMPORTANT: To keep the starter going, retain at least three cups at all times.
  • SHARING: Whenever you have more than six cups of fermented fruit, you may divide it into two portions, being sure there are at least three cups in each portion.
  • Do this just before you would do a normal feeding.
  • Feed each portion.
  • Give one portion to a friend (with Care and Feeding directions) and keep one for yourself.
  • Search on "friendship fruit" to find recipes that use this.
  • There is also a Friendship Sourdough Starter (Recipe #647936) - yum!

Questions & Replies

  1. Can you add a cup of fresh fruit in place of a canned fruit item?
  2. Do you need to brain the fruit when you are adding it for the 2 week feeding?
  3. I made this recipe, but it seems watery. I followed directions and drained fruit but the fruit is pretty much floating in the brandy. Is that expected?
  4. Does anyone have a recipe for Brandied Fruit Cake using this fruit mixture? My mother made one in a bundt pan with nuts that was to die for.
  5. I got up thus morning and it had white foam bubbles. I have followed directions. Is it still good?


  1. My mom aand dad used to make this back in the 60's. It is so great to find it again. I am dying to make some soon.


  1. I thought the canned peaches broke down and sometimes discolored, so I used dried apricots on occasion. I liked their consistency better. I also sometimes added some of the cherry juice to add color to the "brandy."


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