Oh man, littlek, your Rumtopf
picture gave this diabetic an intense food-porn moment. Talk about forbidden fruit!
First of all, Rumtopf
("rum pot") is the correct expression. Rumkopf
("rum head") is a pun, not a proper name. I like the allusions embedded in this pun, though. The stuff does get into your head before you know it. On top of that, you might even call it a state of mind for the exquisite mode of denial it allows you to put yourself in. "No rum please, I'll just eat the fruits; they're practically health food. Don't tell me they're just as alcoholic as what used to be the rum, having had a year to suck alcohol in and release water into the outside. I don't want to think of that right now. Shut up!" I can see why some Germans prefer Rumkopf
over of the correct name Rumtopf
Second, here is some wisdom I inherited from my deceased grandmother and my mother, both of whom made/make The World's Best Rumtopf (TM)
[Grand]ma's recipe uses a pound of pineapple, half a pound of red currants, half a pound of black currants, a pound of peaches, and a pound of strawberries.
[Grand]ma's recipe uses equal parts sugar and fruits. When I talked with my mother about it earlier this morning, she advised against going lower, for a combination of three reasons:
- Rumtopf gets the more delicious the more the alcohol imbues the fruit absolutely, totally, entirely, and then some.
- It takes a long time until the Rumtopf reaches peak deliciousness. Although the Rumtopf you're starting now will taste well on your 2010 birthday, it will taste even better on your 2011 birthday if you can preserve the fruits that long.
- But to do that, you can use all the sugar and all the alcohol you can get.
That's why my mother doesn't just advise against going lower than 1:1 on the sugar; she also advises against rum that merely has 40% alcohol. She herself uses a brand that has 54%. Summing up, the point of the sugar (and the alcohol) in Rumtopf
is not just about taste; it's also about biochemistry. And the biochemistry calls for a lot of both.
Knowing that you'd prefer to go less sweet than biochemistry suggests, I asked my mother: "I've seen rum in Germany that has as much as 80% alcohol. Can you go lower on the sugar by using that? Her reply: "Could be, your friend would have to try it out. But if I were going for a less-sweet taste, I'd increase the proportion of sour fruits (like currants) before I decreased the concentration of sugar. Either way, for her first Rumtopf
, your friend should go with the strongest rum she can possibly get." For your orientation, my [grand]mother's Rumtopf
tastes about as sweet as Italian Limoncello
So there you have it. Enjoy. And please excuse my drooling.