Attractive ceramic Rumtopf crocks adorn kitchens from late spring to the Christmas holidays. That’s because fruits are added gradually, when they ripen and are the most flavorful, starting with strawberries in May or June.
Traditionally served over ice cream, yogurt, waffles or cake during Advent or on Christmas morning, Rumtopf is an old traditional preparation of fermented rum-soaked fruit aged in a crock pot.
Rumtöpfe, Rumtopf, or Rum Pot, is a delicious treat of aged, rum-soaked fruit, in the German and Austrian tradition. You can also soak the fruit in bourbon, in the French tradition, or in your favorite brandy or other alcoholic beverage that is at least 80 Proof (40% alcohol by volume).
Use one or more, or all, of the fruit in the guide below. Traditionally, the process took months to prepare – as each type of fruit ripened and became seasonally available, it would be washed, dried, sugared, and placed in the Rumtopf crock (Rum Pot).
Age the mixture in a cool place for at least three months to ferment properly. It will keep indefinitely as long as it is completely covered with the rum. Then enjoy over ice cream, yogurt, cake, waffles, etc., or by itself with a topping of cream.
Recipe and Instructions for Rumtopf
Fresh, unblemished fruits, just ripe
Rum of good quality
Fine granulated sugar – 1/2 pound for every pound of fruit
Rum Pot or crock pot, washed and dried
A dish that will fit inside the pot
If they are being washed, they should be dry before being placed in the Rumtopf. You’ll get the best results by placing fruit inside the Rumtopf in the following order.
♦ Strawberries: Wash, remove the stems and halve large ones.
♦ Cherries: Wash, remove stems, and use with or without the pits.
♦ Raspberries and/or Blackberries: Sort carefully, but do not wash.
♦ Red Currant Berries: Wash well and remove from stem with a fork.
♦ Apricots and/or Peaches: Scald for 1 or 2 minutes, peel and pit, and cut in quarters.
♦ Melons: Peel, remove seeds and cut in cubes.
♦ Plums: Wash well, remove stems, cut in half, and use with or without skin or pits.
♦ Pears: Peel, cut in 4 or 8 slices, simmer in mixture of sugar and water, then remove from mixture.
♦ Grapes: Wash well and remove from stem.
♦ Pineapples: Remove the rind and center core, and cut in cubes.
Evenly sprinkle 1/2 pound of fine granulated sugar over each pound of fruit.
Let the sugar soak into the fruit for at least one hour, then place the fruit in the Rumtopf.
Cover the fruit with rum, about an inch above the fruit.
As you add the next fruit, keep topping off with rum.
After the last fruit has been added, place a dish over it to keep the fruit fully immersed in the rum.
To avoid loss of aroma or the evaporation of the rum, place cellophane across the top before covering with the lid.
Keep the Rumtopf in a cool place for three months, which allows it to ferment. (Check it occasionally to make sure that there is sufficient rum to keep the mixture covered; add more rum when necessary.)
It will then be ready for you to enjoy.
Remember, if you replenish or top off fruit, be sure to add more rum to keep it immersed, and, for best taste, allow 3 more months (or at least 2 months) for fermentation before using.
This Rumtopf is a traditional home recipe from Oma Schmitts.
Rum (54% minimum alcohol by volume), Fruit, Sugar
It is prepared with all fruits that ripen from spring to autumn and you add them one by one as they ripen, in a earthenware pot with lid.
Not suitable are: apples, black currants, blueberries or blackberries.
Only absolutely flawless, ripe fruit should be used.
Each layer of fruit needs about six weeks to mature in the rum pot.
Prior to replenishing, stir with a clean spoon.
Have fun preparing and enjoy!
Our Rumtopf begins with strawberries, the first summer fruit. They are washed, dried and put into the rum pot.
Sugar measuring half the weight of the fruit is sprinkled on top.
Pour enough 54% strength rum so the fruits are covered about an inch.
That is about a 0.7 liter bottle on a pound of fruits and half pound of sugar.
Then close the pot and place it in a cool spot. From time to time, check to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, because the rum should always be about an inch over the fruit. If not, add more rum.
As soon as the next season fruits are available, do the same as with the strawberries, but with the difference that for each pound of fruit and sugar you only need now about 0.2 liters of rum.