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Rumtopf, tutti frutti, and brandied fruit time

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  • Rumtopf, tutti frutti, and brandied fruit time

    It is time to start your rumtopf. Rumtopf's are also called tutti-frutti, as well as brandied fruits. This is a fabulous way to preserve some of your harvest. The process couldn't be simpler and the results are delicious. Take a pint of fruit add one pint of rum or brandy or bourbon and one cup of sugar. Place in a large crock or other non metal receptacle. Put a lid on the crock and set the crock in a cool place out of the sun. This will draw fruit flies like a magnet so I try to make sure that the lid seals fairly well. Lots of recipes call for simply laying cheesecloth over the top but keeping those fruit flies out of my kitchen is impossible when I use that method. I like to start with strawberries and as the summer continues I will add from one cup to a pint of whatever fruit is cheap and in season. Almost any fruit works but I would caution to add only a very small amount of currents. I speak from experience here as they can overwhelm your rumtopf. Citrus fruit as well may make your rumtopf taste too strong if you are not careful. Cherries, peaches, apricots and figs are traditional but you can add whatever you have on hand in whatever quantities are available. Peel where appropriate and pit your fruit before adding it to the rumtopf. You will not have to add any more alcohol as the fruit will make its own liquor. No more sugar is needed either. Open the lid of your rumtopf from time to time to let gasses escape. Try not to eat any of your brandied fruit until October. That will give it plenty of time to infuse the brandy with lots of fruit flavor. We traditionally start eating ours around Thanksgiving. The fruit and some of the liquid can be added to drinks, served over ice cream, ladled over pound cakes, added to fruit cakes and any left over liquid makes a delightful cordial.
    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Bennett