Christmas inspiration came my way via Rosella at Rhubarb & Roses. Since the Mennonite Girls adopted me as their American cousin I decided to try a German Christmas tradition this year. Now if I truly was from German descent I’d stick strictly to the recipe but since I’m Russian instead of using Rum or Brandy I’m making Rumtopf using Vodka instead.
For 3 cups of strawberries hulled and halved I added 1-1/2 cups sugar, let it sit for an hour and then added it my 2 gallon mason jar crock and added enough Vodka to cover the fruit by 1 inch. Store the jar in a cool place like your basement if you have one.
Over the course of the summer, once a month or so, I’ll keep layering different fresh summer fruits with the same process. At the end Rosella adds pineapple and pomegranate seeds and you can add a few orange slices and cinnamon sticks if you want (I’ll probably stay away from the cinnamon). By Christmas I’ll have a topping for ice cream, pound cake, cheesecake, pudding, trifle, or whatever strikes my fancy.
I think my next summer fruit choices will be peaches and Nectarines and cherries. When our blueberries ripen I’ll use them and when our pears ripen I’ll add them. Do not stir the fruit layers. Just layer the sugared fruit on top of the last layer and add the alcohol to cover.
With my 2 gallon jar I’ll be able to give away my Rumptopf as gifts, too. I’ll need to keep my eye out for cute little airtight containers for my gifts…
Here’s another link that describes Rumptopf.