|Source: Mrs. Van Swearingen (1971)|
Put one pint of rum or brandy in a stone or glass jar (nothing metal). You may use a large bean pot or a large size apothecary jar. Add fresh strawberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapple, blueberries, cherries, any fresh fruit as it comes in season with the exception of apples, pears and citrus fruits. Dried fruit may be used in part, after the pot is well started, but no canned fruit may be included except mandarin oranges and maraschino cherries. Raisins, currants and dried apricots are good if used with the other fruits. For each 2 cups of fruit used, add an equal amount of sugar; wait a week before adding more fruit and sugar. Stir daily. According to old colonial recipes, this mixture should age in three months, but it is ready long before then. If you use raisins, and they do seem to help fermentation, do not use equal sugar. Use only 1 cup sugar for each 2 cups of raisins, since they have their own natural sweetness. Cover the jar in which you are making rumpot but do not use a screw-on lid. You cover the jars with several thicknesses of folded cheesecloth, held down with strong string or heavy rubber bands. Both beanpots and apothecary jars allow just the right amount of air to aid fermentation. Keep in a fairly cool place. As you use your rumpot sauce over ice cream, puddings or plain cake slices, add more fruit and sugar in proportion to what you have taken out. It is not necessary to add more liquor because the original amount plus fermentation of fresh fruits keeps it going. If you give your rumpot away, keep a cupful as a ‘starter’, 2 cups is better, but fruits and sugar should be added in small quantities for awhile. This may be kept going for years. Some people do add more liquor as they go along for a strong taste. If you are late getting started with fruits in season, you may use frozen fruits. For each regulation pack (about 10 to 12 ounces), just add 1 cup sugar if fruit is sweetened. If it is unsweetened, then add cup for cup as with fresh fruits.