Rumtopf Might Be The Easiest Dessert Recipe Ever
Rumtopf, or rum pot, is an easy way to preserve fruit by layering your fruit of choice with sugar and rum in an airtight container. All you need are those three ingredients – and time. This classic German recipe is often begun in late Spring or early Summer and served around Christmastime. Many cooks will start with the early season fruit like blueberries and continue through the Summer using cherries, stone fruit like peaches and plums and ending in early fall with pears. You not only end up with an amazingly boozy mélange of fruit, but you get a fruity beverage as well that could be served on its own as an aperitif or combined with seltzer or sparkling white wine.
There are traditional Rumtopf pots available online, both new and used, and for the cook that has everything this is an unusual gift.
This is really a non-recipe kind of recipe. Roughly speaking you need 2 parts fruit to 1 part sugar tossed gently together and then add enough rum to cover. The amounts suggested below are your starter amounts! Have plenty of rum on hand. I like to continue the process as various fruit become available but I like to use the same rum throughout.
- 2 pounds fruit if choice, washed and dried. Whole if small, or cut into large bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound sugar
- Enough rum to cover, about 3 to 5 cups (I used Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum)
- Large non-reactive ceramic or glass air-covered container
- Toss the fruit together gently and spoon a single layer into your container. Top with some sugar and continue to layer fruit, then sugar until you use them all up.
- Gently pour enough rum over the fruit/sugar mixture until completely covered by about one-inch. Classic recipes will say by a “fingerbreadth”. This is important as the rum preserves the fruit.
- Cover and store in a dark, cool place for at least a week at which point give it a gentle stir. The sugar will dissolve and the fruit will give off juices and the rum will color. Keep adding fruit, sugar and rum as the season progresses always making sure that the rum generously covers the fruit.
- Once the last fruit is added, let the Rumtopf sit for at least a month or up to 2 months. Serve over vanilla ice cream, as shown, or pound cake or sponge cake or even on its own. In the image below we made an ice cream soda with the Rumtopf, seltzer and vanilla ice cream.
- Obviously your finished dish will be dependent on the fruit and rum used. I used a blend of Driscoll’s blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. The Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum I recommended is a 12-year old Venezuelan dark golden rum, which lent a rich color and flavor.
- Many classic Rumtopf recipes show each fruit being added on its own. You would layer blueberries, then sugar, then raspberries and then sugar, etc. The thing is that it all gets tossed and combined eventually, so if you start with a blend of fruit at the same time, as I did here, you can toss it together from the get-go.
Top and Bottom Images: Peter Muka
Middle Image: Dédé Wilson