I am living in Mallorca now – with all the benefits… Like nice wine. Really nice. Even the worst wine from the mainland is better then the average from anywhere else. Unfortunatly the local wine is pretty expensive – otherwise u can find good quality in good price from all over Spain – could be a proper heaven to my Daddy, who wakes and sleeps with a glass of red however nowadays was crying to buy horrible stuff for more money… so i wish him here with me trying all the types of Rioja, our big favorites :))))
And as we are talking about the wine must mention another big spanish invention, the Sherry – or Jerez – itself…. a beautiful thing. Hard to find a good one which worth to try – but if u ever tasted its relative, the Port Wine u ‘kindofknow’ what im talking about… basically a sweet fortified (dessert) wine.
Just a little history first… so the Sherry has protected designation of origin status which means it needs to come from the ‘Sherry-Triangle’ (Jerez de la Frontera & Sanlúcar de Barrameda & El Puerto de Santa Maria), to call it “sherry”.
Good to know that u can find a couple of different types – from the pure dry till the unbelievable sweet:
- fino (driest, color white using flor yeast)
- manzanilla (light variety of fino)
- manzanilla pasada (color changing to darker, getting a nuttier, richer flavour)
- amontillado (dry but darker, first aged with flor yeast but finish without)
- oloroso (darker, aged oxidatively longer, high alcohol content)
- palo cortado (similar to amontillado, aged 4-5years)
- jerez dulce (fermenting dried Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel grapes which give dark/black color and intensive sweetness)
- cream (blending different types together)
The sugar contant is moving between 0 and 200g per litre while the alcohol content is 15-22%. Three main types of grape can be used (always white!!!), the most common is the Palomino (90% of all), the most popular is the Pedro Ximénez and the last is the Moscatel.
Making a Sherry is art – u never get the same result, as the grapes never the same. The whole proccess starts with the pressing to get the must and the game starts: now in the fortification u need to decide what type is your must, whats the best option to go for from the Fino to Oloroso… – depending on this gets the alcohol%. Now its coming the aging proccess – when u need to decide how long u are going with it, using flor yeast or not (this yeast floating on the surface preventing the contact with the air – preventing oxidation thats how this type keeps its white color). And the solera system gives another twist finishing your nectar… My favourite fact is, that Sherry does not benefit for further aging once bottled – the magic happens while its in the barrel – no longer (yes, u can open your religiously kept bottle now, its not gonna develop better flavor in your kitchen shelf… :))
That was the lesson for today.
My story is about a tart of one of my ex-restaurant, from the award winning vegetarian Terre a Terre in Brighton. This was the lemon tart – all time winner. My friends and i was praying for the days when a couple of slices “went off” by date and needed to “get rid of them” (thank u soooo much Joey! :))… OMG… imagine a simple little crust base filled and baked with gorgeous and intense lemon cream… however i am the one who goes for chocolate before fruits, but in this case i couldnt say no, never ever. Winner of all the time, no doubt. So i was missing a bit this cake… but realized that summer is over. Close to over at least at the end of September (dont feel it, today at Palma was 36degrees :) and lemon is pretty fresh summer flavor… so i did it. I did choose another filling… something a bit spanish… sexy… weird,,, the combination of Vanilla with Perdo Ximénez Sherry.
Well well well…. if i was ever thinking… I should know by now, i can do big magic to keep every mouth open. And in this case as well… this cake turned out just amazing. No more words. Look. See. Try. …
- 370ml double cream
- 370ml Pedro Ximénez Sherry
- 200g brown sugar
- orange zest
- pinch of salt
- vanilla pod
Enjoy my friends! xxx