Pedro Ximinez sherry is something I came across when studying for the Diploma in Wines and Spirits (WSET). The exams involve blind tastings so, in an attempt to get to grips with a drink I knew precious little about, extensive tasting evenings were arranged chez nous with two sherry-loving friends.
I don’t have an amazingly sweet tooth and favour cheese at the end of a meal, which is partly why you won’t find many sweet recipes on this blog - something I should address, perhaps? Anyway, a pleasant outcome from all those hard evenings of fortified wine research, if you can call them that, was a new fondness for the sweet, treacle-like sherry, Pedro Ximinez (pronounced himinez), commonly referred to as PX.
This dark, warming, lusciously sweet sherry is great at the end of a meal, poured over vanilla ice cream, but I like to go a step further and steep dried fruits in the sherry. Earlier this week, I chopped dried figs and dates, popped them in a jam jar and covered them with PX. Today, I poured this mixture over rich, Cornish dairy ice cream which we enjoyed for Sunday lunch pudding, with a small glass of chilled PX on the side, naturally. You can use any dried fruits – sultanas, raisins, dried cherries or cranberries and the jar will keep for months, making it an easy last-minute pudding, providing you have ice cream in the freezer. I regularly make some of this nectar for my father-in-law who, rather extravagantly, likes to pour it over his breakfast cereal – a great morning pick-me-up, I imagine!
Other tried and tested food pairings for PX are: strong, salty cheeses, fruit cake, chocolate puddings and pecan pie.