This year, I am finally making a Rumtopf – or a Rumpot, in English. Rommiruukku, in Finnish.
It’s a traditional German fruit preserve/beverage and there are as many variations as there are makers of it. Because you can vary the recipe in so many ways, consider these just overall guidelines.
The Rumtopf has been a culinary classic in the past, but become unfortunately untrendy in the last 10-15 years, though I am hoping for it to make a comeback.
Where did this all begin? Rum imports began in the 18th century. Close to the Danish border, Flensburg was where the West Indies fleet offloaded it’s boozy cargo and, from there, it was transported around Europe. The legend has it, that the rum importing sailors accidentally dropped some fruit into a barrel of rum which quickly developed into a way of transporting exotic fruit back to Europe – and a tradition was born.
Ye Olde way of making this starts in late spring when the first fresh fruit is in season and ends in autumn when the fruit season is ending – typically with pears, or apples or plums and such. However, these days you can probably make it all at once sometime in the middle of summer, when the fruit season is peaking and the ripe fruit times are overlapping. I’m making mine in two steps: I’m still going to add pears later in autumn.
To make a Rumtopf, you will need a large-ish container, depending on how many people you intend to feed with it. Mine is 4 liters and it’s definitely quite large. You can also use a couple of smaller jars, if you don’t want to opt for a big one.