Forget sauces and sprinkles. Vibrantly fresh extra virgin olive oil enhances these sophisticated sundaes.
- 2 oranges
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 pints homemade or best-quality packaged vanilla ice cream
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
Remove the zest from both oranges with a bartender’s zester, which removes it in long strips. Alternatively, make wide strips with a sharp paring knife, peel them away from the sections, cut away any excess pith, and slice them into long slivers. Bring the 1/2 cup of sugar and the water to a rapid boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Let it boil for 5 minutes, and then add the zest strips. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the strips are translucent, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander. You can reserve the flavored syrup for another use, such as sweetening tea or drizzling over a loaf cake. Toss the zest strips with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar (a resealable plastic bag works well for this) and set them on a rack to dry for a half hour or longer.
When you’re ready to serve the sundaes, place a scoop of ice cream in each of 6 highball glasses or ice cream dishes. Make a depression in each scoop with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then top with a tangle of candied zest and a pinch of the flaky salt. Repeat all the layers in each dish—a second scoop of ice cream, olive oil, zest, and sea salt. Serve at once.