March 14, 2011 in Uncategorized
Somewhere in the 90’s our family moved into a house on Stellenbosch’s historic Dorp Street. Underneath its far-from-pristine Victorian exterior, we found the bone structure of a Cape Dutch manor dating back to 1750.
The renovation process resulted in quite a few surprises – some good, some bad. On the downside, for example, concrete columns in really akward places (I blame the 50’s). On the upside, a beautiful Table Mountain yellowwood attic (a proper brandsolder) which was hiding behind rotten ceilings.
My favourite discovery, by far, was the dried-up old vine we found in the backyard, which turned out to be a 200 year old Muscat d’Alexandrie.
With the help of a viticulturist from Nietvoorbij – and lots of tender loving care – this dormant piece of dry bark turned into a beautiful vine within a year. And the following summer, like something out of Canaan, we harvested the most luscious, sweet hanepoot grapes – in bunches that weighed up to 3kg.
When we moved to Paternoster we brought a clipping with us, and I’m absolutely thrilled that it too seems to love its West Coast home.
Grape and olive oil sorbet
500g Hanepoot grapes
Sugar syrup, chilled (approximately 200ml sugar / 375ml water)
80 – 100ml extra virgin olive oil
In a large enamel basin, squash the grapes into a juicy pulp with your hands. Add the chilled sugar syrup, a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, and stir until combined. Strain using a fine sieve lined with muslin cloth. Churn in an ice-cream maker, or freeze and whisk every half hour to prevent ice-crystals from forming.
Pictured here, hanepoot-and-olive-oil sorbet and red globe sorbet, served with fresh grapes, peppery basil, a drizzling of grassy extra virging olive oil and a few retro crystallised grape berries.