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Rumtopf

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Your opinions would be appreciated. (for home not work) . I also want to give them out as gifts.

 

I am preparing to make some rumtopfs. Strawberry season has just begun and they will be the first to go in.

I made one 10 years ago but using only strawberries, blackberries raspberries and blueberries. It was layed and looked great. I put it away in storage (cool dark place) and opened it up three years later and it was very good. It also made for a great liqueur.

 

I have never used other fruits. I usually measure out one cup of fruit and 1/3 cup of sugar and then rum.

Alcohol is another question. Can you suggest another alcohol other than rum ?

What about spices ?

 

What fruit should not go in ?

Since I do not have a recipe or formula any info would be welcome.

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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

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Wine and Cheese
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post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the info on the fruit and spices......your so right. I think I will do the pears in another glass/bottle. Not too many make it anymore......

 

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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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post #3 of 14

   Petals...

 

      Wish I could help  

 

 

    dan

post #4 of 14

lol...poor Petals......Sorry, i have never made a Rumptof..... 3 years later? wow...that's storage.. I would think Brandy or vodka would be good but again that's just a guess.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well , it is the kind of thing that is not done everyday nor by many folks. A friend of mine has a large blackberry field and when asking me about recipes I suggested doing a rumtopf with all her other berries and needless to say, I am now doing it.

 

I have one tip on what to do ......then this afternoon my  mother said it was popular at one time. Farmers had extra fruit , and so for every crop of new fruit the extra would just go into a container , add sugar, then rum and repeat with every new fruit. It was only until the winter she said that they really enjoyed it.

 

I am still going ahead with this. There are only 2 threads on it. So I guess it is pretty uncommon.

 

The idea of storing fruit like that is a great idea.  

 

Thanks for your support.....

 

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Petals
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post #6 of 14

Petals, I don't know the name rumtoph, particularly. But fruits preserved in spirits go way back. I'm most familiar with them from Colonial days, where rum and brandy were the preserving spirits used most often.

 

I don't know if this was an actual rule-of-thumb or not, but something I noticed is that fruits seemed to be segregated by type, either alone or in combination. That is, berries tended to be grouped in the same crock; stone fruits in another crock, pomme fruits in another yet. Cherries were almost always done alone.

 

The key to this is assuring that the fruit remain fully submerged in the alcohol. If not, the possibility of mold is very high. And if mold does appear you have to discard the entire batch.

 

Almost always the fruit was put up in a combination of simple syrup and spirits, rather than spirits alone. Here, for instance, is a version from Mary Randolph's 1823 The Virginia Housewife:

 

Cherries in Brandy

 

Cut the short stemmed bright red Cherries in Bunches---make a Syrup, with equal Quantities of Sugar and Cherries; scald the Cherries, but do not let the Skins crack, which they will do if the Fruit be too ripe. Put them in Bottles, and cover them with equal Quantities of Syrup and French Brandy.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

KYH,

 

Thanks for the info. I guess the one I made worked because the berries I used were paired well together. But as you said , certain fruits should stay together.

Thank goodness you spoke about the cherries, my list here has them going in .....so I will make one just for the cherries now. I will  follow the directions for the cherries as you said.

I really enjoyed the info you posted. I spoke about this with several people , one Chef told me to use a ceramic crock, then when finished seal it well. Since I will be making at least ten glass ones , it will have to go into a dark spot. I do not have a rumtopf ceramic container per se so what I have will have to do.

 

I was wondering about, currants, gooseberries, peeled sliced apricots, peeled sliced peaches, peeled sliced pineapple.....

Decided for the berries, 1 cup of fruit, 1/4 sugar, 1/4 rum (or brandy , thanks gunnar)

Temp. not warmer than 45.... for food safety.

 

I sent your info to some friends who are making it as well......wow, never thought this would be a hit with my friends .

Again, thank you so much !

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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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post #8 of 14

I don't know about the pineapple, one way or another. But all the others you mentioned are fine.

 

Interestingly, the colonial-period recipes all call for using lye to de-fuzz peaches before putting them up this way. They also have a disclaimer, with virtually all stone fruits, to not have them over-ripe ("not too ripe" is the usual phrase).

 

Crocks are nice. And very dramatic when you serve from one. But keep in mind that crocks were used because they were the only large, waterproof containers they had in those days. By the 19th century, recipes were specifying bottles. Wide-mouth canning jars are actually ideal containers for this approach.

 

Crocks, incidentally, were not sealed with this kind of preserve. Instead, a round of paper was laid on the surface, a plate put on that (as a weight to keep the fruit submerged), and a leather dust cloth tied over the crock mouth.

 

For less syrupy preserves, such as jams and jellies, a layer of melted lard was poured over the entire surface (sort of like wax-sealing nowadays), and a dust cover tied in place.

 

If you want to go whole hog, particularly as a gift for someone special, crocks are available as small as a 1/2 gallon. Once the rumtoph is ready, you can seal the coverlid in place with melted wax.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Fantastic !

 

There is an intersting site for the pots ( when you wrote about buying the pot itself I found this) .....but they had a recipe as well (not using that recipe). The fruit groups should be divided in my opinion....and by what you said.

 

http://www.fantes.com/rumtopf.html

 

In that article they mention using Bourbon - French tradition. So 3 glass containers (all with seals will be used) will have the bourbon, the others, half brandy and then rum. I am going to use the wax as well, for safety.

The history of this is just so interesting. It was once said that there is nothing new under the sun, I do  believe it.

At the S.A.Q. here they sell fruits in alcohol (as in most if not all stores), the one that has always caught my eye was the pears done in eau de vie

 

http://www.sallybernstein.com/beverages/spirits/eau_de_vie.htm

 

Thank You...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you Dan for your support, always a friend.

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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

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post #11 of 14

Nice looking pots, Petals. I actually like the discontinued ones better, but what can you do.

 

On wax sealing: Do you mean the pot lids, as I mentioned above? Or are you talking about wax sealing the jars?

 

If the latter, it might not work. Wax sealing is done on thick sugar preserves (i.e., jams and jellies), which support the molten wax until it sets. The rumtopf, on the other hand, is more liquidy, and likely will not support the wax film. What might work, if you're concerned, is to float a round of wax paper or parchment on the syrup first, then add your melted wax. But I'd experiment first before taking a chance on finished product.

 

But, as long as the fruit remains submerged, there is no danger. Keep in mind that you are ot only using the sugar & alcohol as a preservative, but that the fruit, itself, ferments over time.

 

If you're going to use the fancy crocks for gift giving, here's what I'd do. Prepare the rumtoph in canning jars. Once there's as much fruit as the jar will take, top it off with additional syrup/spirits right up to the top of the jar. Then use a regular two-piece lid, screwing the ring on barely finger tight. Store the jars on a drip pan, in case any of the liquid does run over.

 

When you're ready to make your gifts, transfer the fruit to the crock. Regular crocks have flat lids, so the wax sealing is done just for ease of transport. The fancy crocks have recessed lids, and you should be able to carry them safely, with spillage not a likelihood.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 14

In that article they mention using Bourbon - French tradition.

 

A piece of trivia for you.

 

In the days before the EC, European countries, to get around trade agreements, used what were called "non-tariff barriers." That is, the product wasn't taxed because it was an import, but for other reasons, even though similar products were not taxed.

 

Comes a time when France, in general, and Paris, in particular, fell in love with bourbon. They called it "American Wiskey," and went gaagaa for it. Sales of cognac and brandy fell off dramatically. But they couldn't legally put a tariff on bourbon, both because of agreements, and because, being as there were no bourbon distilleries in France, there was no rational reason for such protection.

 

What to do, what to do?

 

Turns out, there was a strange rule that "aperitifs" were taxible, in France, but "digestifs" were not. Who knows why? But in order to get around the trade agreements, bourbon was all of a sudden defined as an aperitif, and heavily taxed.  As a result, the fad for American Whiskey died, which made the cognac/brandy producers very happy.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 14

I made this years ago with my grandpa.  We used any fruits that grew well that year, namely strawberries, blackberries, currants, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and plums.  We removed the skin and pits and chopped all items were in bite-size pieces. 

 

The ratio that I found in our old notes was:

2 lbs. fruit

1.25 cups sugar

4 cups white rum

 

We sometimes added a few whole spices: cinnamon stick, allspice, star anise - whatever sounded good.  Cinnamon was always my very favorite.  If I were to do this again (and I may after being inspired today!) I would try scraping a little vanilla bean into a jar, too.  I love vanilla with peaches, apricots, and nectarines.

 

Thanks for the memories!

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the spice tips, the cinnamon will be used. I might just do the peaches and vanilla like you said in another pot. Great ideas, thank you so much for sharing that.

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Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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