Keep on hand to serve over ice cream, with plain cake, or with whipped cream. Sip the liquid like a liqueur.
Makes about 4 pint jars
In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer gently until sugar is dissolved and liquid is clear.
Wash 4 pint jars in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Place fruit in jars. Divide syrup and vanilla pieces equally among the jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Top off each jar with white rum to completely cover fruit. Seal jars then turn upside down to mix liquids. Turn jars right side up and let sit 2 weeks before using. Will keep 6 to 8 months if you keep the jars topped off with rum.
Andrea Reusing is the creator of the restaurant Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., and author of the book Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. In this installment of The Key 3, she shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of her favorite recipes: Turnip Soup, Overnight Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Salad.