A German "Rumpot" for homemade...um...

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Just read, in a book on winemaking, instructions on how to make a "Rumpot," an old (ancient?) German way to make...well, you tell me!

You'll need a large ceramic (or other non-reactive, I assume) container with a tight-fitting lid.

The big idea is that you soak fruits in rum, throughout the season, as they become ripe...starting with strawberries. Think of it as "booze saurkraut" if you will.

To begin, in the spring, you take some amount of strawberries, and half that amount of sugar. ("half" by weight, I'd guess). Put the strawberries and sugar in the container and pour in enough dark rum to cover the sugar/berries and a "finger" more. (I'd put in a plate or something to hold the strawberries under the rum...) Cover.

Then as other fruits ripen throughout season, repeat: the fruit and half as much sugar, put it in and add more rum to cover, plus a finger. Repeat throughout the year with different fruits.

I haven't done this, but love would to try it. Any vinologists out there could help explain what's going on here! Sounds good, though...

-- joe (joe@adeveloper.net), December 12, 1999


hey joe,

Since you're a sourdough buff, I'm sure you know about the clearish liquid that floats on top - AKA hooch.

I think it would be a great time for folks to start up a batch of brandied fruit as well, good thing to have to take care of leftovers if you have huge cans of fruit.

-- flora (***@__._), December 13, 1999.

Rumpot is an old way of preserving fruits. I don't recall which ones off the top of my head but there are some fruits that work better for this than others. A clear/light rum will result in a lighter colored fruit, as will using white sugar rather than brown sugar/honey.

It's important to keep all the fruit pushed below the level of the liquid or the part that's sticking out will turn dark and unattractive.

The process is really nothing more than pickling the fruit in alcohol. The sugar also has a preservative effect and helps maintain texture be drawing out some of the water.

On a cold winter day the stuff is excellent when heated and poured over poundcake, fruitcake, ice cream, etc.


The Prudent Food Storage FAQ, v3.5


-- A.T. Hagan (athagan@sprintmail.com), December 13, 1999.

It's also really really easy to get ripped on it. Urp.

-- silver ion (tastes@wesome.too), December 13, 1999.

Two Recipes: Rum-pot and Brandied Fruit

From: arielle@taronga.com (Stephanie da Silva)

Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1993 05:22:46 GMT

From Time-Life's The Good Cook Series

Basic Rum-Pot Fruit Recipe (Rumtopf)

3 cups (3/4 liter) strawberries, hulled about 2 cups each (about 1/2 liter each) prepared gooseberries, cherries, red currants, black currants, raspberries, apricots, plums and pears (pick over, remove any damaged parts and pit or core fruits) about 10 cups (about 2 1/2 liters) sugar about 2 quarts (about 2 liters) rum

Sprinkle the strawberries with 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) sugar. Cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Place the sugared strawberries in the rum pot (as the rum pot, you can use a 1 to 2 gallon stoneware crock with a lid) and pour in enough rum to cover the fruit by about two finger-widths. Cover the pot with plastic wrap and put on the lid. Place in a cool room, and stir the fruit gently every two or three days.

Starting with the gooseberries, or as the fruits ripen, add the remaining fruits in layers; mix 1 cup (1/4 liter) of fruit with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the sugar before adding it to the pot, and each time add enough rum to cover fruit by two finger-widths.

After the first two weeks, you will only need to shake or stir the pot every two weeks. But you must always make sure that the top layer of fruit is covered by two finger-widths of rum. Traditionally, the rum pot is begun in early summer. At the end of October or the begining of November, add enother cup of rum to the pot. By the beginning of December, the fruit will be ready to eat.

Brandied Fruit Melange

about 10 quarts (about 10 liters) prepared fresh fruits: hulled strawberries; pitted cherries; whole raspberries; peeled, pitted and sliced apricots and peaches; whole blueberries; pitted plums; and peeled, cored and sliced pears about 10 quarts (about 10 liters) sugar about 2 1/2 quarts (about 2 1/2 liters) brandy

Brandy base 2 cups (1/2 liter) brandy 1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2 liters) firm, ripe strawberries, hulled 6 cups (1 1/2 liters) sugar 2 cups (1/2 liter) kirsch 2 cups (1/2 liter) sherry 2 cinnamon sticks 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh ginger 1 tablespoon (15 ml) whole cloves 1 tablespoon (15 ml) whole allspice 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated lemon peel 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated orange peel

For the brandy base, crush the strawberries and simmer them in their own juice until they are tender, about five minutes. Let the berries drip in a jelly bag; discard the pulp. Bring the strawberry juice to a boil, add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Cool the syrup. Put the brandy, kirsch, sherry, spices and grated lemon and orange peels into a 4 gallon (16 liter) crock. Add the strawberry syrup to the other ingredients in the crock. Let the mixture stand for at least one week.

As fruits are available, add equal quantities of fresh fruits and sugar, stirring after each addition. Never add more than 2 quarts (2 liters) of sugared fruit at one time. Two or three kinds of fruit may be added at the same time. For each 2 quarts of sugared fruit, add 2 cups (1/2 liter) of brandy. More spices also may be added. Continue this process until the crock is filled. Put the cover on the crock and tie a cloth over it. Let it stand without disturbing it for two or three months.

-- Darlene (boomer@tdstelme.net), December 16, 1999.

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