|Summer Berries (and Stone Fruit) with Chilled Icewine Cream|
At last let's enjoy some dessert! If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I have been creating personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my own cooking adventures. I admit to being uninspired in my kitchen for many reasons...could it be the new job, the temptations of summer, the heat of summer? Whatever my reasoning every day food should be an adventure either with new ideas or experimenting with a new cuisine. Every day we should be excited about what we are eating even if it just means something as simple as making use of a wonderful find at our local farmers market. With these personally imposed challenges I am finding my culinary skills to be rejuvenated and back on track. This is the perfect time of year to pump up my kitchen into high gear!
As my third personal challenge I created a menu from appetizer to dessert that highlights British Columbian cuisine and ultimately Okanagan cuisine. This recipe comes from a local winery. My Cuisine du Terroir Challenge reflects what our local producers have to offer in peak growing season. The most direct translation of the concept of terrior is “food of the earth”. Terroir is a French term used to describe the unique flavour imparted to food or drink by a region’s specific climate, soil, weather and growing conditions.
I chose “Cuisine du Terroir” as the concept for my latest challenge because to me it means food with a strong sense of place. It has been 15 years since we moved across the country from the province of Ontario to live here in the Okanagan Valley in what they refer to as "God's Country. I can't envision anywhere else as my home and have the cascading vineyards and orchards, turquoise lakes and majestic mountains running through my veins.
To start this challenge off I offered my own version of Lamb Sliders with Lemon-Mint Sauce for my Cuisine du Terroir menu. Next came the salad course with Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette. We highlighted the vivid red Sockeye salmon of British Columbia with Salmon in Vine Leaves with Wine Jus. What followed next was a simple presentation of Smashed Fingerling Potatoes with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. The "piece de resistance" and final temptation is dessert!!!!
This recipe was developed for Inniskillin Winery using their Riesling icewine. This intense, gorgeous nectar is made by leaving grapes on the vine through a frost, after which they are promptly picked and pressed. Water, in the form of ice granules, stays in the press and what goes into the fermenter is the sweet essence of grape. Among the dozens of types of dessert wines in the world, my absolute favourite is ice wine. The world's leading producer of ice wine is Canada, followed by Germany and then Austria. Because of the concentrated taste, ice wine is one of the most elegant and refined dessert wines. I often fill a Bernard Callebaut chocolate cup with ice wine which makes dessert as simple and delicious as it gets.
This time I went a step further to showcase our local fruits and berries by recreating an icewine infused dessert from Inniskillen winery chefs. For extra icewine flavour, I soaked the berries in additional icewine. Because the wine is so intense, a typical serving is just one ounce. Imagine a rich kaleidoscope of flavours, warm orange marmalade undercurrents with lime, orange peel, nectarine and intense dried apricot and honey flavours in every spoonful. Many of our local Okanagan wineries make their own signature variety of icewine including Rollingdale Winery. Optimal weather conditions can never be assured, so true ice wine is a real treat. Enjoy this dessert which incorporates all that British Columbia has to offer.
**Summer Berries (and Stone Fruit) with Chilled Icewine Cream**"Typically rich and unctuous, the buttery, baked nectarine, pear, orange and mineral flavours of the icewine can easily stand up to the cream and berries.".
3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup icewine
½ cup whipping cream
3 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
Fresh mint or lavender for garnish
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and icewine until thickened. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk until it starts to cool. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the icewine mixture and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Place the berries into individual bowls or large wine glasses. Top each with a large spoonful of the icewine cream and garnish with fresh mint or lavender.
Makes 4 servings
Serve to applause and enjoy!!!