We’re swooning over each and every one of Hannah’s unusual and traditional Nothing But Delicious recipes. (See her kompot and beet kvass recipes too.) In this last grab at summer’s bounty, Hannah teaches us how to preserve our favorite summer fruits to save for holiday delights!
This is an old method of preservation, dating back to the 18th century, that is easily the lowest-effort, highest-reward way of storing summer fruit. Although it’s called rumtopf, or “rum pot,” in Germany, and confiture de vieux garçon, or “bachelor’s jam” in France, at my house I refer to it as “hoarder’s jam.” Every time I go to the farmer’s market at the end of summer, I pick up something colorful to squirrel away, to keep for colder months: peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, figs and apricots of all shapes and hues. I douse it in sugar, cover it with brandy in old pickle jars, and by fall I have so many jars that you’d call me unreasonable if I told you the real number. Three months later, it’s a holiday treat.
a few ideas for how to use your Bachelor’s jam:
Nestle it into a clafoutis Garnish a cocktail with the boozy fruit
Make an upside down cake Serve on top of ice cream or angel food cake
Bake it into a crumble Use the left-over alcohol to make rum punch
How To Make Bachelor’s Jam
You can use whatever firm fruit you like. Herbs or spices aren’t necessary. Here are a few suggestions:
Blueberries, rosemary and vodka
Pears, orange peel, ginger and whiskey
Figs, lemon peel and rum
Peaches, nectarines, vanilla bean and brandy
Cherries, star anise or cloves and bourbon
Apricots, thyme and gin
Sanitize jars, lids, knife and cutting board with boiling water.
Rinse fruit under cold water and dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Chop fruit as desired – 1/2″ or larger. You can leave pits in, or take them out.
For every layer of fruit you add to the jar, cover with a spoonful of sugar. The suggested ratio is 2/3 alcohol to 1/3 sugar, but you can adjust the amount of sugar based on your own taste and the sweetness of the fruit.
When the jar is full, pour in high-proof liquor and make sure everything is fully submerged before closing. Store in a cool, dark place for about three months before using.