Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rumtopf - fresh berries and Rum, the taste of Summer

When the strawberries start ripening in my garden it is time to make Rumtopf.  A wondrous mixture of Rum, Sugar and the Berries from your garden.

I make mine as I was instructed, maybe 30 years ago, by my ex-Mother in Law.

Always start with strawberries.  These are generally the first berries in the garden.  (or purchase from a store)... Weigh them, and put them on a plate.  Pour over their weight in sugar.  So, if your strawberries weighed 300g, pour over 300g sugar.

Leave overnight in the fridge.  In the morning pour the whole lot, including any juice that has seeped out, into a large earthenware pot.  Pour over Rum to cover the berries.  Submerge the berries in the rum.  Put in the fridge.

Over the summer and autumn add all berries you fancy, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and anything else you can rustle up or buy.  For all the subsequent berries only add 1/2 their weight in sugar.

Personally I don't like stonefruit in mine, but this recipe here does.  I find they go a horrible slimey texture, but if you dont care about that you could give it a go.  The attached link is a complicated version, but I have added it for interest.

It should keep for years.  I just keep adding over the summer, eat all the fruit and as much of the juice as I fancy, and start again the next year with any juice that is left over.  The alcohol and sugar are basically preserving the fruit (and adding that extra va-voom).

HOW TO USE "RUMTOPF"> Spoonfuls over icecream, in the bottom of bubbly champagne, in pies, in lemonade, to add a little extra to Summer Pudding and on pancakes.