Strawberries in Spiced Wine with Olive Oil-Flavored Ice Cream

Total Time:
7 hr 24 min
Prep:
4 hr
Inactive:
24 min
Cook:
3 hr

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Advanced

Ingredients
  • Candied olives:
  • 2 3/4 ounces firm brine-preserved black olives, seeds removed (not canned)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 7 tablespoons water
  • Ice cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 9 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lenghthwise
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil*
  • Wine syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • Pinch powdered saffron
  • 1 1/4 pounds strawberries, rinsed and hulled (caps removed)
  • Garnish:
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 4 small cinnamon sticks
  • 4 small vanilla pods
  • *The chef recommends Catalan olive oil from Spain, soft and round, with a slight almond flavor. Another fruity olive oil can be substituted.
Directions
  • The day before serving, candy the olives. Cut them into quarters and blanch them in a small pan of boiling water, repeating the process 2 or 3 times to de-salt them; drain. In the same pan, make a syrup of the powdered sugar and water. Add the olives, bring to a boil, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let olives soak 24 hours.

  • Several hours before serving, make the ice cream. Heat the milk with the cream and split vanilla pod.

  • In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together to obtain a frothy consistency. To yolks, gradually add the hot milk and cream, beating constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook over very low heat, continuing to stir until the mixture coats the spoon. Stir in the olive oil and let cool. Place in the freezer until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

  • At least 1 hour before serving, prepare the strawberries and the syrup. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, red wine, orange zest, the halved vanilla pod, the cinnamon stick, and saffron. Bring to a boil, then pour the strawberries into the mixture.

  • Bring mixture to a second boil and allow to boil briskly for 5 minutes, then let the mixture cool briefly. With a slotted spoon, remove the strawberries to a bowl. Continue boiling syrup over medium heat until it is thickened and reduced. Add the strawberries to this syrup and let cool 1 hour or more, to room temperature.

  • Presentation: Into 4 well-chilled soup plates, serve the strawberry mixture in its syrup. On the side put 1 or 2 dollops of olive oil-flavored ice cream. Garnish by poking into each serving a fresh mint leaf (or a tiny sprig of olive leaves if available), a small section of vanilla bean pod, and a small piece of cinnamon stick. Sprinkle candied olives on top and serve.


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