Food and Recipes

Fruits of the season

As I was sitting on my couch today, trying to recover from a call shift of working until nearly 4 am and feeling utterly exhausted, I paged through my copy of  the Fanny Farmer Cookbook – not the updated edition from 1996, but the original version that was first published in 1896.

fanny farmer

Perhaps its my love of history and old things that makes me interested in the food and recipes of “the old days”. There is just something that speaks to me when I read through these old Victorian cookery books.

I’ve been wanting to get started in canning, pickling, and preserving things, so I turned to the applicable section in the book and my eye fell on a recipe for brandied peaches. I was immediately intrigued – everything about it sounded delicious. And, in fact, I had a couple nectarines lying about that weren’t ripening, so rather than wasting them, what better use for them than to soak them in sugar and brandy?

Then, my question became – what to do with them after they’ve soaked? My research led me to information about rumtopf (literally “rum pot”) – a traditional German way of preserving seasonal fruits. This is traditionally done with mixed fruit in a stoneware crock – as the season progresses adding different, in season fruits, layering with sugar, and covering with rum.


You then let the fruit sit for several months, and bring it out to enjoy during Christmas and for the holidays.

So this version is a twist I suppose on that traditional rumtopf, as it uses only one fruit and brandy vs. rum.

I’m quite excited to dig it out in the coming dark, cold, bleak winter months.

One jar with nectarines and one with cherries

Some of the serving suggestions I found were:
– Enjoy the resulting liqueur on its on, or serve 1 oz liqueur in a flute and top with champagne or prosecco.
-Spoon it over the top of a cheesecake, over ice cream, or with pound cake and topped with fresh cream
-Add it during the last 30 minutes of cooking a roast pork


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