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I am an olive freak (hence my name) so when I saw this on Dinner with a Band (Sam Mason's cooking show), I knew I had to try it. It's supposed to taste like cherries, but I imagine it has a bit of a sweet-salty zing to it.
- 6 cups kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups preferably ruby port
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 orange, zest of
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter, barely softened
- 2 tablespoons kirsch
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- Bring a pot of water to boil, immerse olives for a few seconds to remove oily residue, and strain. Repeat process if olives are still oily.
- Heat sugar in a large saucepan. When it begins to melt and turn yellow, very quickly completely whisk in 2 cups cold water.
- Then add the wine, vanilla bean, zest and olives and let simmer about 30 minutes or until reduced by about half.
- Strain olives and reserve poaching liquid.
- Meanwhile mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Blend butter into the flour mixture with the tips of your fingers; you want most of the streusel mix to be pea-size lumps.
- In medium-size baking dish (like a 9- by 12-inch pan), mix olives with Kirsch, sugar and cornstarch. Add about 1 cup of reserved poaching liquid and mix.
- Top with streusel and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until top is well-browned.