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MAKE IT: Rumtopf

What the #$!^ is rumtopf? The simplest answer: it’s boozy fruit.

A few more details: rumtopf is a traditional German and Danish holiday dessert. It’s made by combining a mixture of fruits (usually berries, cherries, plums, and apricots), sugar, and rum together in a large stoneware pot, and letting it mature for a few months.

Why would you want to do this? Two words, again: boozy fruit.

But really. It’s a great way to preserve end of season fruit, it’s a fun experiment, and it tastes delicious. You can use the end result in cakes, ice cream, as syrup for your pancakes, or (we won’t tell) straight out of the jar.

Rumtopf is traditionally made all throughout the summer. You start your batch when the strawberries are ripe, and keep adding fruits as they come into season. This makes it great way to use up any extra fruit, and it’s a great experiment as well.

The ratio of fruit to sugar is 2 to 1, and you’ll add enough rum to keep the mixture covered as you go.

Here’s a list of ideal fruits. Make sure you pit fruits, and cut large ones in half or quarters:

Cherries
Apricots
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Grapes
Strawberries
Raspberries
Red currants
Gooseberries

You’ll need a large earthenware pot that seals to store your rumptopf in. To get started, add about 1 lb of fruit, half lb of sugar, and enough rum to cover the mixture by at least an inch. Place plastic wrap over the opening of the pot, then cover with the lid. Place in a cool and dark place. Every month, you can add an additional layer of fruit and sugar, topping up with rum as necessary.

Traditionally, rumtopf is served as a Christmas dessert. But if you want to sneak a taste before then, we won’t tell!

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