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‘Rumtopf’ (Rum Pot)

Written by Kelsey on November 18th, 2015.      0 comments

The tradition of the Rumtopf in Germany goes back centuries as a way to preserve fruits of the season. As the different fruits come into season over spring and summer they are added to the Rum Pot. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, this means you will have a delicious layered rum pot ready for Christmas. This doesn’t mean however that those of us in the southern hemisphere can’t enjoy this wonderful treat!  There is still time to get some ready in time for Christmas….and after that get another one going for enjoying in the winter!
The finished product makes a delicious mixture of sweet, rum-soaked fruits.  It is perfect over vanilla ice cream, flan, pudding, cheesecake, served with cream or crème fraîche. Strain out the fruit and you have a delicious fruit liqueur. No matter how you decide to use it, it is well worth the effort. 


500g fresh fruit (see below for the best types) 
250g sugar 
enough good quality (unflavoured) dark rum (min 54% ABV) to cover the fruit by 2cm (alternatively you could use brandy)

Wash and sterilise the Mad Millie Fermenting Crock and clay weights. Wash (not raspberries and strawberries) and dry the first chosen fruit.
Remove any stems, seeds, and pits. Place all of the fruit and the sugar into the crock, gently mix, and leave to sit for 1 hour.
Pour in enough rum to cover the fruit by at least 2 cm. If the fruit is floating, place the sterilised clay weights on top.
Place the lid on the crock and fill the moat with water.
Store the crock in a cool place away from heat and sunlight. You may even store it in the refrigerator. Check every few days that the water in the moat still covers the holes in the lid.

Every month add another layer of fruit (the traditional way).
For each additional layer of fruit follow the instructions above, but mix the fruit and sugar in a separate bowl (and allow to sit for about  1 hour). When removing the lid, be careful not to allow water from the moat to drip into the crock.  Make sure you top up with a bit more rum to cover the fruit by at least 2 cm if needed. Throughout the summer, repeat the process for each new fruit layer until your crock is full. After your last addition allow to sit for another 4 -6 weeks.
‘All in one’ method
No problem if you would like to have your rum top ready for Christmas or if all of the fruit you want to use is available on the same day. You can still fill up the crock with layers of fruit, sugar and rum. Traditionally the fruit is layered and not mixed. Then allow the entire mixture to sit for 4 - 6 weeks.
It is absolutely ok to "test" the fruit along the way for "Yumminess".
NOTE: Check periodically to make sure there is no extra fermentation taking place. If you see bubbles beginning to develop, you have fermentation. If this happens, make sure you use rum that is at least 54% to suppress the fermentation.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve the Rumtopf fruits with its syrup (hot or cold) over ice cream, cake, flan, puddings, or cheesecake. Serve topped with whipped cream or crème fraîche.
  • Serve as a side dish with any game meat.
  • Serve the strained liquid as a liqueur.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of the strained liquid to Champagne for a unique and elegant cocktail. 
  • Lay some of the warmed fruit onto waffles or a thin crepe-like pancake (and roll up).  Add whipped cream or ice cream. Yum! 

TIP: The idea is to start with whatever fruit is fresh and relevant right now. You're looking for high quality, ripe fruit (not over ripe) full of flavour.

The best fruits to use are:
  • Cherries (pitted and stemmed)
  • Apricots (halved, pitted)
  • Nectarines (halved, pitted)
  • Peaches (halved, pitted, quartered or sliced)
  • Pears (cored, peeled and sliced)
  • Plums (remove seeds and halve or quarter)
  • Grapes (sweet seedless red or green are ideal)
  • Strawberries (don’t wash, just remove stem and leaves. NOTE: strawberries will lose their red colour)
  • Raspberries (don’t wash. NOTE: raspberries will also lose some of their red colour)
  • Red currants (removed from stem)

The following fruits don't work as well:
  • Blackberries or blueberries (they can be bitter and discolour the other fruit)
  • Watermelon and cantaloupe (can make the mixture watery)
  • Rhubarb (can make it too sour)
  • Bananas (too mushy)
  • Citrus (too acidic)
  • Apples (they get a weird texture)


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