Rumtopf (Rum Pot) Recipe
Rumtopf (Rum Pot)
The tradition of the Rumtopf in Germany goes back centuries as a way to preserve fruits of the season. The finished product makes a fabulous mixture of rum soaked fruits perfect over ice cream, flan, pudding, cheesecake, or my favorite Italian almond cake. Strain the fruit and you have a liqeuer or an after dinner cordial. No matter how you decide to use it, it is well worth the effort.
Fresh fruit (approximately 1 pound)
Sugar (approximately 1/2 pound)
Good quality (unflavored) dark rum to cover the fruit by 1 inch
The idea is to start with whatever fruit is fresh and relevant right now. You're looking for ripe fruit (not over ripe) full of flavor.
The best fruits to use are:
Cherries (any variety, pitted and stemmed)
Apricots (halved, pitted)
Nectarines (halved, pitted)
Peaches (halved, pitted, quartered or sliced)
Pears (cored, peeled and sliced)
Plums (remove seed and halve or quarter)
Grapes (sweet seedless red or green are perfect)
Strawberries (remove stem and leaves)
Red currants (removed from stem)
Pluots (remove seed and halve or quarter)
The following fruits don't work as well:
Blackberries or blueberries (they can be bitter and discolor the other fruit)
Watermelon and canteloupe (can make the mixture watery)
Rhubarb (can make it too sour)
Bananas (too mushy)
Citrus (too acidic)
Apples (they get a wierd texture)
Wash the inside of a large ceramic crock with a lid (Rumtopf). Wash and dry the first chosen fruit. Remove and stems, seeds, and pits. Place the one pound of fruit and the half pound of sugar into the Rumtopf. Pour in enough rum to cover the fruit by at least one inch. Cover the opening of the rumtopf tightly with plastic (to prevent evaporation) and place the lid firmly on top. Store in a cool place away from heat and sunlight. You may even store it in the refrigerator.
Every month add another layer of fruit.
For each additional layer of fruit follow the instructions above. Throughout the summer, repeat the process for each new fruit layer until your Rumtopf is full. If all the fruit you want to use is available on the same day, you may fill up the Rumtopf with layers of fruit and sugar and rum. Then allow the entire mixture to sit for another 4 to 6 weeks. It is absolutely ok to "test" the fruit along the way for "Yumminess". Check periodically to make sure their is no extra fermentation taking place. If you see bubbles beginning to develop, you have fermentation. If this happens, add rum that is 151 proof to suppress the fermentation.