Preserving fruit in rum

My dad’s version of a German “Rumtopf”

I definitely take after my dad when it comes to cooking and baking. He loves to his spend his free time turning the fruits and vegetables in his garden into amazing jams, chutneys or cakes. This year, however, he is left with the same problem as me, which actually shouldn’t be called a “real problem”: We’ve got too much of it (especially fruit!).




From drunken yellow plum jam to the unusual peach-coconut-mint version, we got a bit tired of making jam though…

Jam factory.

Jam factory. Can you have enough of this? Yes.

So what to do with all the plums, pears, grapes, apples and peaches? My dad found a clever way: He drowned them in rum. It’s one of the easiest and oldest ways of preserving things. And we don’t seem to be the only ones that had this idea: My friend Fräulein Schön is preparing a so-called “Rumtopf” in a big, weird-looking vessel, a traditional German way of making fruit last. You usually start making a “Rumtopf” at the end of summer and by the time it gets all cold outside you’ve got a warming, christmas-y drink. If you want to know more about it, check out this link , the Diary of a German Hausfrau or the third paragraph in Fräulein Schön’s article.

As my dad didn’t have the proper vessel you need for a “Rumtopf”, he just filled his fruit in rum in old jars – so I’ve got another thing on my list of what to do with old jars. He followed an absolute low-fuss approach: Unlike the other recipes in the above mentioned links he neither boiled or cooked the fruit nor added any sugar or spices. He basically just filled the jars with fruit and then added the rum. It makes a very nice Christmas present, as it takes a couple of months or more to get all nice. Make sure you buy a good rum if you want to do the same at home, it’s worth it.

Fruit in rum, dad style

Fruit in rum, dad style (pics except no.4: courtesy of Jürgen Gilljohann)


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