Do like the Germans, start a rumtopf! Making a rumtopf must be one of the most perfect ways to save summer scents and flavors in a jar, I think. So go ahead and harvest as berries and fruits ripen and preserve with sugar and rum.
Here’s what you need, and how to do
- A large glass jar or a crock (about 2-3 liters depending on the amount of berries and fruits you have access to and how big a batch you want to do). If you use a crock, make sure the glazing is lead free!
- Strawberries tend to be the berries that ripen first, at least here in Sweden, so I usually start with them.
- Sugar, half the weight of the fruit, e.g. 500 g strawberries / 250 g sugar .
- Proper strong rum, light or dark (about 50 % if possible).
- Rinse and clean the berries thoroughly, remove any bad spots and cut into smaller pieces.
- Combine berries and sugar and let the mixture stand until the sugar has dissolved and the berries start rendering their juice, about 20-30 minutes.
- Put berries / sugar mixture into the jar and cover berries completely with rum.
- Stir gently to make sure the sugar has dissolved properly and put the jar in a dark and cold place.
- Continue alternating sugar and berries, as they appear throughout the summer and autumn – cherries, currants, raspberries, grapes, gooseberries, plums, peaches and so on. Remove pits from stone fruits and peel peaches if using.
- The berries’ own juice adds to the liquid, but fill up with more rum when needed to keep the berries covered.
- Let stand until Christmas or at least Advent before tasting.
This will make a delicious complement to ice cream, rice pudding, trifle or drinks. However, don’t forget to tell your driving guests about the amount of alcohol in the dessert, you don’t want them to be caught drunk driving.