Have I mentioned how much I love preserving fruit in booze? Because I do. It’s so simple and the results are so impressive. The other week when I was processing all those pounds of plums, I decided I didn’t want to make all 10 pounds into plum sauce. Then I remembered hearing about brandied plums. I did some searching, looked at a lot of recipes, and came up with a combo that sounds good to me, and most importantly was the simplest and would last for the longest amount of time.
- 1 lb plums, washed and destemmed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 cups brandy
- 1 quart glass jar with tight fitting lid
Prick plums all over with a needle, then place gently in the jar. Top with sugar and stick in cinnamon stick. Add brandy until plums are covered by at least an inch of brandy. Close jar, and store in a cool dark place and swirl every few days. Plums will be ready to eat after 3 weeks of soaking. Use within 6 months.
No, that is not a made up word in my title. It’s one of my projects for the summer and should make excellent Christmas presents. One of my favorite parts of summer is all the amazing produce. Working on a farm, and being a huge fan of the farmers market, I sometimes end up with more than I can eat before it goes bad. That’s when I turn to food preservation, which can mean making jams and pickles, but can encompass a lot of other methods.
One of my favorite methods, and the simplest, is to use alcohol, which brings me back to the title of my post. Rumptopf is a German dish, which involves layers of fresh fruit, topped with sugar and dark rum. As the summer progresses and different fruits come into season, add another layer of fruit, with more sugar and rum. Or, you can buy all the fruit and make it in one go.
I divide this recipe into 4 1-pint jars to give out as presents, but you could be selfish or generous, and put it all in one giant jar, that would hold a half gallon of water. Just use glass, which won’t transfer any flavor or chemicals to the fruit.
- 2 cups (1 pint basket) strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 cups peaches, sliced 1/2 thick, pit removed
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 cups plums, sliced 1/2 thick, pit removed
- 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 liter dark rum
- 4 pint glass jars
- Divide strawberries evenly between jars. Sprinkle 2 1/2 tbsp sugar over each layer of strawberries, then cover with rum, about ¼ cup.
- Repeat with each type of fruit, creating layers. At the end, make sure the fruit is completely covered with rum.
- Store in a cool, dark place (not the refrigerator!), and periodically swirl to help the sugar dissolve. If the fruit floats to the top, occasionally flip to make sure everything is equally saturated with rum. Allow to soak for at least 3 weeks, though the longer the better.
Serve over pound cake, use the fruity rum in cocktails or just have a ridiculously tipsy fruit salad.