The richness of rumtopf

Numerous recipes exist for rumtopf (or rumpot as many call it). Mostly this fruity offering is made with fresh fruit, however I have found it superb for turning dried fruits, especially strawberries, into delicious dessert toppings.

Use only first grade fruit, and if fresh wash and dry thoroughly as any water will cause fermentation. Ceramic pots work best, and avoid using metal spoons.

Rumtopf is an Austrian, German, Italian and Danish dessert of mixed fruit and alcohol traditionally eaten around Christmas, yet enjoyable on any occasion. Traditionally, it is eaten as a compote and served as a topping on poundcake, waffles, baked apples, and over ice cream.


  • Overproof rum
  • 2kg fruit
  • 1kg sugar
  • Old fashion crocks or sealable jars
  • Wooden spoon
  1. Sterilise jars. Prepare fruit, washing and drying it if fresh, or adding it to a crockery bowl if dried.
  2. Cover with sugar (I use brown or raw) and leave for at least an hour.
  3. Add it to the pot or crock, and cover completely with overproof rum.
  4. Put in extra fruit as it becomes available, ensuring you add more rum to cover it.
  5. Leave for about a year to mature, then enjoy it over ice-cream or as a topping.

Top tips:

  • Dried pineapple, mango, strawberries, and papaya mature beautifully.
  • Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, and sample if you want.
  • Serve on its own with double or clotted cream.
  • Try black eating grapes to make “rum’n raisin”.

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