Bachelor’s Jam

I borrowed a copy of Pam Corbin’s The River Cottage Preserves Handbook from the local library over the summer and found her recipe for Bachelor’s Jam therein. It isn’t actually a jam, but a fruit compote with sugar and alcohol. Weee!

In the same vein of German rum pot, rumtopf, fruit is layered in a large crock, sugar is sprinkled over it and alcohol is added to cover the fruit. I fell in love with the idea of this form of preservation and jumped on it in May with the first batches of local strawberries I got my hands on.

Over the course of the summer I added bits of fruit and berries along the way: kumquats, blackberries, raspberries, black raspberries, peaches, more strawberries, plums, and finally pears in November.

When all was said and done we had a pretty healthy size jam going on and so I hauled the jar down to the basement for several weeks of cold storage. This is what it looked like before it went to the basement:

One of my giant pickling jars repurposed for Bachelor's Jam

You can see the last fruit I added floating just under the plate: pears. Ah yes, the holidays will be especially merry this year I do believe!

Bachelor’s Jam Formula

Here’s the formula:
1 pound fruit
1 cup sugar
80 proof spirit – such as rum, vodka, gin or brandy (I chose vodka with the Russian in the house we always have some so I knew I wouldn’t be making an emergency trip to the liquor store for this recipe)

Don’t stir the fruit until you’re ready to serve it! Give it a good 4-6 weeks or so from the final addition of fruit until you use it. In my case my large pickling jar worked perfectly, but I’ve seen others use ceramic crocks and other kinds of jars.

In the event that I’ve made way too much, I might try some of these recipe ideas from the New York Times’. Hair of the Dog Muffins and Upside Down Tipple Cake sound like a fun use for these boozy fruits! 🙂

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