Bachelor’s Jam or Rumtopf or Knock Me on my Ass

In 2016 I took a class on how to ferment foods.  It was super interesting.  I love experimenting and since I have a huge garden, fermenting is perfect for me.

One of the things we learned in class was how to make Bachelor’s Jam, or Rumtopf in German.  Super easy!

Fermenting the Jam

Take a large crock or some kind of glass vessel and layer fruits of the season throughout the year.  I started with strawberries in the spring – thick sliced them then sprinkled with sugar and topped off with a strong booze like Bacardi 151 or Everclear or any extra strong booze.  Weight it down so the fruit is below the liquid.  You can use a lid with a baggie full of rocks.

The next fruit I used was some wild raspberries I picked.  Did the same method above, but removed the weight first – dah.  Followed by thick sliced peaches. I wanted to add blueberries but totally forgot…actually I ate them because blueberries are my fav.  Then finished with the last fruit of the season, thick sliced apples.

Then you let that vat of boozy, fruity, sweet goodness sit and ferment all the way to the holidays.  In the meantime, save a few cool bottles like wine or large beer bottles or even a growler.  When it’s ready at the holidays, take a slotted spoon and spoon out the fruit and put in a separate container.  Pour the booze into the cool bottles.

Rumtopf or Bachelor's Jam booze and fruit

Shots of Rumtopf

The booze can be drank like a cordial or a shot.  It will knock you on your ass!  It tastes fruity and sweet.  Some of us tasted the strawberries and some the peaches.  Whew, shit is strong!

Isn’t this a nice presentation?

Rumtopf or Bachelor's Jam shots

Rumtopf Fruit Spritzer

To make a Rumtopf Fruit Spritzer, I pureed the boozy fruit in my Nutribullet to make it a fine texture to dissolve with sparkling water for a nice fruity drink.  It was quite delish, we all agreed.  It didn’t taste too strong but I noticed after a few sips that this girl was feeling fine!  Whew, shit is good!

Rumtopf spritzer

Boozy Dessert

The final output of the bachelor’s jam was to make a dessert.  I looked all over Pinterest for dessert ideas using boozy fruit and found some great ideas like trifles, break puddings, cakes, etc. to get some inspo.  I ended up buying a chocolate chip panettone from Trader Joe’s (because remember, I’m not a baker) along with some mascarpone.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Chunked up the panettone and laid it in a clear baking dish (so you can see the layers)
  2. Pureed the boozy fruit in my Nutribullet
  3. In a mixing bowl, combined mascarpone, boozy fruit puree, about 1/4 cup of half & half, and about 1 Tbsp powdered sugar and blended with hand mixer until smooth.
  4. Spread on the mascarpone frosting mixture
  5. Result: It was pretty good!  If the frosting is spread thin it’s not too overpowering but some pieces had more frosting and those people got a buzz from the boozy fruit.

Ideas for next time

What we’ll do differently next year.  And when I say “we”, I mean my aunt Anne and I because this was her great idea.  We’ll strain the fruit and booze with cheese cloth to get the fruit fibers out so it’s clearer.  The texture threw some people off.

With the discarded and liquid-extracted fruit mash we can puree to make an adult sauce to put on dessert or ice cream.

The booze will then make a nice cordial to be sipped, slammed, shot, or mixed with sparkling water.

Anne also wanted to get labels made, etc. etc. but I think she’s getting carried away.  She’s all about presentation so I’ll let her take it after I’m done fermenting it.  So it will be a joint venture, this project.  It will make a nice gift or something to bring to holiday parties again!

So if this sounds interesting to you…it is.  It’s easy.  Just experiment and mark a reminder in your calendar this spring to start with the first fruits of the season.

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