A traditional German method of preserving summer fruits by soaking in rum.
Choose selection of summer fruits as they come into season such as such as strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, plums, apricots, gooseberries, pineapple, currants and grapes.
1. Sterilize a large glass jar or large ceramic jar in boiling water. Quart canning jars can be used. As fruit comes in season, alternately several inches of fruit in jar, then add enough sugar to cover fruit. The amount of sugar is important to aid in preserving the fruit.
2. Pour enough dark rum to completely cover each layer of fruit mixture. Always make sure fruit is covered by 1 inch of rum.
3. Cover jars(do not seal canning jars, just cover tops). Store in a cool dry place.
4. Keep adding layers of different fruit, sugar and rum until jars are nearly full. The amount of fruit sugar and rum will vary according to the size of jar and fruit, 2 cups of fruit and a half cup sugar per layer is a good start for large jars.
5. Figure about a half to one cup fruit less than volume of jars.( an 8 cup jar will hold about 7 and a half cups of fruit. and allow enough head space for rum to cover top layer of fruit
6. For best results select fruit that will retain shape and color such as strawberries, cherries, peaches, plums, apricots, pineapple, grapes.. Apples, pears, & bananas do not work well. Fresh fruits as they come into season are best, best a totally acceptable version can be made using a combination of fresh and commercially canned fruits.
7. Let fruit stand for several months. A batch started in the summer will be ready to use by October. Quart jars of rumtopf make great Christmas gifts.
To serve: Spoon fruit mixture over pound cake or ice cream. The liquid from the mixture is wonderful in cocktails or drunk by itself as a cordial.