I heard about a new thing the other day, a concept that wowed me so much I had to run out and make it immediately. Basically, it is fruit preserved in sugar and rum, but with a twist: you layer each fruit in a crock as it comes into season and is at the height of ripeness. An incredibly simple idea, but brilliant. The entire process takes about 6 months, starting with the berries of early Summer and ending with the apples and pears of Autumn (tropical fruits are optional). An additional 6 weeks of sitting is necessary after the last addition, so the entire melange is generally completed sometime in December.
Luckily, I heard about this while strawberries are still in season, though just barely. Yesterday I ran out and bought a 1 gallon glass crock with a lid, then went over to the farmer’s market for berries. Never mind that I don’t have the recommended cool, dark cellar in which to allow the crock to sit – I intend to ask around and hope that I find a tiny plot of basement floor that someone is willing to let my crock squat on in exchange for some boozy fruit and fruity cordial come winter. The name of this extravaganza is Rumtopf, or rum pot in German.