Recipe 17: Good Housekeeping’s Rumtopf (1978)

I chose this recipe because it used up some ingredients from the Ginger Ale Salad made two weeks ago (yay) AND had a funny name (YAY)!

Rumtopf is a German and Danish liquor dessert typically consumed around Christmas. It involves mixing the fruit with sugar and very high alcohol content rum and letting it sit for a period of time to allow the fruit to completely absorb the alcohol. Rumtopf means “rum pot” when translated.

Now I know!

I have a box of Good Housekeeping recipe cards in a very Seventies avocado green box. I saw this recipe card…

…and was intrigued because to make this you mix the ingredients together and let them sit in the refrigerator for two weeks. Two weeks? What kind of horrors would emerge from the container at the end of this aging period?

The recipe is as follows:

Step one is to peel and slice oranges and preserve the juice. I had exactly three low-acid oranges that were just going to go to waste if not used, so I peeled and sliced them.

(I initially thought that I had done something wrong because the oranges did not look very…orange. It turns out that some of the the low-acid oranges have a pink or red color similar to grapefruit.)

The next step is to combine the oranges with the pears and cherries:

Finally, add the sugar, stir, and pour the rum and leftover orange juice from above on the mixture:

I selected Parrot Bay because it had a coconut flavor that I thought would compliment the fruits in the mixture nicely.

Finally, stick that container in the refrigerator and forget about it!

I opened the refrigerator after exactly two weeks (I could barely contain my excitement) and opened the dish. The fruit was perfectly preserved!

Chloe was less than impressed.

I had to take the first bite because my husband was scared of what we were about to eat.

It was good! It is a bit like sangria in the way that the fruit soaks up the alcohol but the rum taste was not overpowering. I think using the coconut rum was an excellent choice and enhanced the flavor of the fruit. We ate ours plain out of fancy glasses. I tried mine with some whipped cream, and that made it taste even better.

According to the site Well Preserved, there are a number of things you can do with rumtopf-make a smoothie, put it on ice cream, dip pastries in it, drink it like a shot…all kinds of things! The Good Housekeeping recipe card says that this concoction can last indefinitely by replenishing any rumtopf removed from the container with additional rum, sugar, and fruit. I’m excited to see how it tastes on cakes, ice creams, and other desserts.

Time Travel Experience: The recipe card was very 1970s in appearance on its own. I was excited to use the card from my retro recipe card kit. Also, I got to travel to two weeks ago to the Thursday that I made this (ha ha). I have read that this type of dessert is not as popular as it once was because of the time required to make and age it, so this actually is a vintage recipe because it is seldom made anymore.

Overall Experience: MUCH better than anticipated. It was a bit sticky and sugary, but this is to be expected given the combination of ingredients. I felt as if my rumtopf was every bit as fancy as the recipe card’s. This is the dish that keeps on giving, and I am excited to see how this tastes in the future.

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