A rumtopf is a tasty German concoction made with fresh fruit, sugar and rum.
It is a preservation method in which fruit is fermented in alcohol and eaten later as a topping for various desserts. The word “rumtopf” literally means “rum pot”.
The traditional way of making this beverage starts as early as the fresh fruit are available in spring / summer and ends with the last fresh fruit in autumn; today you can start it anytime because you can always get fresh fruit in the supermarkets. You can also use just one type of fruit e.g. plums.
Rumtopf is traditionally served during Advent or on Christmas morning.
Serve the fruits with its syrup (hot or cold) over ice-cream, cake, flan, puddings, or cheese cake, in an elegant dish topped with whipped cream or crème fraîche.
It can also be used as a side dish with any game meat.Strain the liquid and use the liquor for an after-dinner cordial or add two tablespoons of the strained liquid to Champagne for a unique and elegant cocktail or add 1 or 2 teaspoons of the liquid to a glass of white wine.
Rumtopf (rum pot) Recipe
Ideal fruits are:
Apricots (halves, pitted)
Cherries (any variety, pitted)
Grapes (sweet seedless red or green grapes are ideal)
Nectarines (halves, pitted)
Peaches (remove pits and cut in halves, quarters, or slices)
Pears (cored, peeled & sliced)
Plums (remove seed and half or quarter)
Raspberries (don’t wash). Raspberries will lose some of their red colour.
Red currants (removed from stem)
Strawberries (don’t wash, just remove stem & leaves).
Strawberries will lose their red colour.
Wash and dry the inside of the Rumtopf.
Wash and dry the first chosen fruit. (Don’t wash Strawberries and Raspberries.)
Remove any stems, seed and pits.
In a separate bowl cover the fruit with an equal weight of granulated sugar and allow to stand for one hour. (Example: 3 pounds of fruit and 3 pounds of sugar)
Place the fruit, sugar and any juices left in the bowl into the Rumtopf.
Pour in just enough rum to cover the fruit.
Weigh the fruit down with a clean saucer or plate
Cover the opening of the Rumtopf with plastic (to avoid evaporation) and place the lid firmly on top.
Stir daily until the sugar has dissolved then store in a cool place; away from heat and sunlight.
Adding additional layers of fruit:
For each additional layer of fruit follow the instructions above but use only half as much sugar. (Example: 3 pounds of fruit and 1½ pounds of sugar.)
After the fruit and sugar has rested for one hour, gently add this mixture onto the earlier layer.
Do not disturb the original fruits.
Add more rum to cover the new layer.
Cover with fresh Saran or plastic wrap and the lid.
Throughout the summer, repeat the process for each new fruit until your Rumtopf is full.
Then allow the entire mixture to sit for another 4 to 6 weeks.
It is best after 2-3 months rest.