Honey Balsamic Sundaes

Advocate-tested recipe

Honey Balsamic Sundaes

Serves 4. Recipe is from “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts” by Alice Medrich. “Very chic and sophisticated and almost effortless. The combination of vanilla ice cream and sauce alone is spectacular; the berries or figs are extra nice. And I love the olive oil. If your crowd is adventurous, pass a cruet and let your guests drizzle some over the sundaes and/or serve the sundaes with Olive Oil Crostini.”

2⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar (the inexpensive kind is fine)

1⁄3 cup flavorful but mild honey (such as clover, sage, or orange blossom), or more to taste

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Carton of ripe strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved or quartered, or figs, halved or quartered, optional

Extra virgin olive oil, optional

Olive Oil Crostini, optional

1. To make the sauce: Combine the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. Let cool.

2. Taste the sauce with a little of the ice cream and adjust the balance of sweetness with more honey if necessary — thought I advise you to keep it fairly tart in contrast with the ice cream. Put a scoop of ice ceam in each serving dish, with or without fruit, and drizzle with sauce. It’s powerful, so use just a little. (Any leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least several weeks.)

3. Serve at once. Pass the olive oil separately, if using, and add a couple of crostini, if desired.

Olive Oil Crostini: Toast 8 slices from a regular (not sourdough) baguette in a toaster oven or on a baking sheet in a preheated 350-degree oven, turning the slices once, until lightly golden at the edges and perfectly crisp and crunchy. Brush or drizzle the tops liberally with extra virgin olive oil.