posted by Liz Thomas 08-01-100 5:26 AM
Strawberries in Wine
Fresh, ripe strawberries in season
Half pint medium-dry rose wine
5-7 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns
Hull and halve the berries, or quarter them if really big. Share them out between individual serving dishes -- glass is best to reflect the light. Keep cold.
Dissolve the sugar in the wine; add vanilla bean. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Then simmer the wine and sugar till you have a light syrup -- sort of the same as the syrup in a tin of pears, don't let it reduce too much.
Crush the peppercorns lightly. Add them to the hot syrup and leave till serving time.
Just before serving remove the vanilla bean. Immediately before serving bring the syrup back to the boil, cool a little and then spoon over the cold strawberries. Serve immediately with chilled cream.
The taste/temperature, combination/contrast is absolutely fabulous and no one will ever guess what your secret ingredient (the pepper) is.
Note: It is not worth the time, effort or money to do this with imported or hot house out-of-season berries, they just do not have the taste.
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