A super easy, no gelatin cream that thickens with the help of some Santorini sweet wine
Most people know Santorini as one of the top destinations for summer vacations. And I don’t blame them. After all, Santorini has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Have you been there or seen some pictures of the island? The breathtaking view from the Caldera – which is basically the remains of an ancient volcano – and the scenic settlements nested across the edge of the cliffs provide a unique place for everyone to relax and enjoy their vacation. But this beautiful place is also known for its exceptional wines. You see, Santorini is an anhydrous island with a rich soil due to the volcano ashes. This creates a very special microclimate that produces very tasty fruits and vegetables. It’s like their taste is concentrated because of the lack of moisture! And that also applies to the wines.
One of the most famous wines is the Greek vinsanto, made from grapes that are allowed to raisin on the vine. It’s a sweet dessert wine with notes of honey, maple, golden raisins and dried red fruits along with toasted nuts. This wine lends all of its aromas to this recipe, making it extra special. You can even say it has an exotic flavor, like no other you have tried!
This recipe is inspired by Anna Olson’s Icewine Crème Brûlée . She uses icewine, a wine that from what I understand has similar attributes to the vinsanto. It is a very delicate cream, and a little thinner than your classic cream with gelatin. It uses the acidity of wine to set the cream and is presented in wine glasses.
This is probably the easiest cream dessert you’re ever going to make. Just heat some cream, add the wine, lemon and sugar/honey and you’re done! Also, it is very fresh and light, so it’s ideal after a heavy dinner. The honey, lemon and vanilla pair really well with the complex aroma of the sweet wine. I prefer to make it the day before I want to serve it, since I have noticed that overnight the flavors develop and it becomes more aromatic and delicious. Because it is very easy to make and requires so little time, it is perfect as a dessert for when you have guests. They will certainly love it! Not to mention how pretty those glasses are!
To create this tilted effect, just place the glasses on an egg carton with an angle, or make some nests out of foil, big enough to hold the glasses at an angle. Place the nests on a tray and fill the glasses carefully – a pitcher will help a lot!
For this recipe you can use any sweet dessert wine you like, preferably one made of white grapes. I haven’t tested the recipe with a sweet red wine such as Port or Marsala, so I don’t know how it will work.
The oat cookie reminds a lot of a good oat bar. If you’re interested check out this recipe for some amazing oat/granola bars.
- For the cream:
- 2 ½ cups (580 grams) cream (full fat, 35%)
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) honey
- ½ cup (118 grams) sweet white wine
- 2 ½ tablespoons (35 grams) lemon juice
- ½ tsp (2.5 grams) vanilla
- A pinch of salt
- For the crispy oat cookie:
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons rolled oats
- A pinch of cinnamon
- Fresh fruits or jam (or both) for serving
- In a pot, heat the cream, salt, honey and sugar over medium heat stirring until sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in the wine, lemon juice and vanilla. Taste the cream, and if you feel you want it sweeter, add another tablespoon of sugar, and stir until dissolved.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and pour into serving glasses.
- Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Make the oat cookie: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a pan with foil and brush with some oil.
- In a bowl, mix the maple syrup, sugar and butter. Add oats and cinnamon and mix well.
- Transfer into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even and thin layer.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until brown at the edges.
- Cool completely, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
- Just before serving add some jam and fresh fruit in each glass and top with one or two pieces of oat cookie.
Recipe inspired by Anna Olson's Icewine Crème Brulée (http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/icewine-creme-brulee-egg-free/12566/)