Rumtopf (Rum pot)

This traditional German way of preserving fruit makes a delicious addition to cakes, flans and puddings or the rum infused fruit can be spooned over ice cream. The full flavoured rum makes a unique liqueur or special addition to spritzers. Historically the rumtopf was started with the first fruits of the season and layers were added as each different fruit ripened through the year. You can use whatever fully ripe fruit is available but it mustn't be over ripe.

Recommended Fruits

  • Pineapple – rinded, cored and cubed
  • Cherries - stemmed and pitted
  • Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches - quartered and pitted
  • Pears - cored, peeled and sliced
  • Plums - quartered and pitted
  • Grapes – any colour, seedless
  • Strawberries, Raspberries - remove stems and leaves
  • Redcurrants, Gooseberries - remove stems and leaves

Less ideal fruits are:

  • Blackberries or Blueberries can be bitter and strongly coloured
  • Melon can make the mixture too watery
  • Rhubarb should be used sparingly as it can be sour
  • Bananas go mushy
  • Citrus fruits are too acidic
  • Apples have an unusual texture


Making your Rumtopf:

  • Wash and dry the Rumtopf as well as the fruit prepared as above.
  • Place 500g of fruit and 250g of sugar into the Rumtopf and then pour in unflavoured rum to cover the fruit by at least 20mm.
  • Cover the opening of the Rumtopf with cling film to avoid evaporation and place the lid firmly on top.
  • Store in a cool, dry and dark place.
  • Every few weeks add an additional layer of fruit, with sugar and rum as above. Different fruits produce a unique result, but you can use all the same fruit if it is available or even fill the rumtopf in one go.
  • When full, leave the jar for a further 4 to 6 weeks, checking occasionally to make sure that fermentation is NOT taking place. If you see bubbles rising then you may have fermentation which should be stopped by adding more strong rum.


  • Spoon the Rumtopf fruits with the hot or cold syrup over ice-cream, cake, flan, puddings, or cheese cake.
  • Serve in an elegant dish topped with whipped cream or crème frâiche.
  • Serve the strained liquid as a liquor or after-dinner liqueur
  • Add two tablespoons of the liqueur to sparkling wine for a lively spritzer.
  • Roll the warmed fruit onto a pancake and top with whipped cream or ice cream.