Rum Pot Recipe: Make in Summer, Enjoy in Winter
Having first sampled this dish in Switzerland in the mid eighties, I always wanted to recreate it at home. I never seemed to have the perfect set up for making it, however, since it requires an undisturbed resting space, serious forethought, organization and time.
It’s simple to make and a real treat in the Winter, but you have to think of it and start it in the Summer!
What you’ll need:
A glass or ceramic pot with an airtight lid. The Rum Pot needs to sit in the dark so if possible, choose a ceramic jar. I use a decorative cookie jar with a silicon collar. I received it as a gift filled with biscotti one Christmas. I think it came from Costco. It’s perfect for my Rum Pot. If you use glass, you may want to wrap it in paper or store it inside of a paper bag to keep the light from reaching your concoction.
Plastic wrap. I like the super clingy wrap for this project (despite the crumby box that it comes in). The purpose of the wrap is to keep the liquid from evaporating, so it’s important.
Rum. You want the highest proof or alcohol content you can find. The alcohol is important to keep the fruit from simply rotting. At least that’s my understanding. I haven’t had that experience. I think you can use any type of rum that you prefer, light, dark, spiced or not. Experiment and let us know what happens. I buy the large bottle and anything that doesn’t go into the Rum Pot gets used for Hot Buttered Rums on cold Winter Nights.
Fresh Fruit. Enough to fill your container loosely. Traditionally stone fruits and or berries are used in the Rum Pot. Citrus fruit, melons, bananas, apples and tropical fruits are generally not preferred. The list of undesirable fruits is longer than the tried and true list. There is generally a good reason that certain fruits are not preferred; mushyness, bitterness and discoloration being the most common.
That said, the fruit you do use will shrink and turn unrecognizably dark, so I’m not sure why blueberries are avoided. My Rum Pot results in an extremely dark mixture, I can’t imagine blueberries would really ruin the color. On the other hand, the mushyness and or bitterness of Watermelon, citrus fruit, bananas, and apples, I can understand as undesirable.
Here’s a list of fruits that I’ve used succesfully: Apricots, Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines, Plums & Peaches. This year’s pot has Raspberries in it and I may add figs, although I bet they are not preferred due to their seeds.
Brown Sugar. I guess white sugar would work equally well. You need to match the quantity of fruit with an equal amount of sugar, much like making jam.
Add any spices you may like after the Rum Pot has matured and about a week before you’re ready to share. Proceed slowly, trust the fruit and rum, additional sugar is often the only thing you need after tasting.
Patience. You can add to your Rum Pot as various fruits become available throughout the Summer, or you can fill your pot all at once. You can also use a single fruit, like cherries. I wash and dry my fruit. You don’t want any water in the Pot. I find it more pleasant to have fruit pieces about the same size, so I cut everything accordingly.
Layer the fruit in your clean (sterile is best) container. Cover completely with sugar. Cover fruit and sugar with Rum. There should be about an inch of Rum floating over the top of the fruit. No fruit should poke out of the Rum.
Seal your pot with plastic wrap and replace lid. Set your Rum Pot in a cool dark place and don’t touch it until the weekend before Thanksgiving. Take a peek. Open the pot. Take a taste. Make any adjustments and plan to serve your Rum Pot all through the Holidays.
Rum Pot is super strong in flavor and is best served in small portions over Vanilla Ice Cream, Pound Cake or Bread Pudding. You can also strain the liquid to serve as a liqueur for sipping. There’s something comforting about tasting the sunshine of Summer fruits in the middle of a particularly, cold and dark Winter’s night in front of a fire.