HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Cooking (and drinking) with sherry

My friend is hosting a Spanish-themed dinner party, where each guest is to bring a course and a wine or liqueur accompaniment. I think I may bring a Sherry Crema Catalana recipe from epicurious, but wonder two things:

1. Can I replace Amontillado with Cream Sherry, which I have on hand?

2. What would be a good Spanish liqueur or dessert wine to have with this?

Muchas gracias for any tips you may have!

Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't know the recipe, but my incliination would be: No. Amontillado is very dry, and is very different from cream sherry.
    You might try the Spirits board for suggestions on liquer or wine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NYchowcook

      My bottle describes it as 'medium dry', with oak overtones. The recipe describes amontillado as have almond character.

      Obviously in a savory dish, the sweetness of the cream sherry would be out of place. But since this is a dessert, ice cream and fig syrup, I can't imagine what harm a sweet sherry would do. As another poster wrote, you could adjust the amount of honey and sugar if necessary.

      For a start you could make the fig syrup, maybe cutting the honey back to 3-4 Tbs. Taste after 40 minutes, and add more honey if you would like it sweeter. Adjusting the sweetness in the ice cream part would be trickier, since the perception of sweetness is different in the frozen product. But the recipe only calls for a 1/4c in this part.

      The cream sherry is, in effect, a dessert wine, or more accurately, an after-dessert wine.


    2. 1. No, don't substitute cream sherry for Amontillado. They are quite different. A good Amontillado shouldn't cost you more than $15.

      2. Oloroso sherry.

      1. Cream sherry is quite a bit sweeter than Amontillado. You might reduce (slightly) the amount of sugar and honey you add to adjust for that. Of course, if you like things sweet, you may prefer it that way...

        1. Here's a thorough discussion of sherry types from the wine board.

          1. As you can tell, it is bad to substitute cream sherry for Amontillado.

            Why not have your cream sherry with the dessert. I think a rich, dark XP like Valdepenas would go well.

            Try a Licor 43.

            3 Replies
            1. re: FrankJBN

              A nice PX (Pedro Ximenez) is like dessert in a glass. Like a mouth full of raisins


              1. re: scubadoo97

                Thank you all for your advice on this. I made the crema Catalana last night and it's amazing -- so I recommend it.

                Now to schooling myself on these wines you suggested!

                1. re: jandazza

                  1) You didn't tell us what you actually used. Tell us not just the style, but the producers.

                  2) Indeed, school yourself. Sherry is the best wine "bargain" on the planet. The range and complexity is astounding, and unlike Burgundy, Bordeaux, etc., is still affordable. The very best will not impoverish you.

            2. This isn't necessarily a Spanish dish; however, it does have Spanish Sherry & it's extraordinary...
              Carolina She-Crab Soup (the very best lump backfin bulging over-the-top)
              blue crab broth—spanish sherry—old bay—sweet cream !
              We serve it as a first course during the holidays.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JayVaBeach

                That reminds me of a time, years ago, when we were traveling in a rural area of South America. I was experiencing strong back pain, possibly due to a kidney stone. The only thing on the menu of a 'resort' menu that sounded at all appealing was consume (broth) with sherry. While I use sherry, both sweet and dry in cooking, this dish remains memorable, even if the details are fuzzy.

                1. re: paulj

                  Paulj - Amontillado is a classic (but nowadays unusual) pairing with consume. Pity it's so rare, since as you've noted, it can be amazing.

                  Anyway, I agree with Hungry Pangolin that sherry may be the best wine bargain on the planet. It also (with some notable exceptions) has incredibly consistent quality (Anything by Lustau pops into the mind, for example).

                  If you are interested, I just wrote a column reviewing the various merits of some Lustau amontillado vs. Sandeman and Savory & James. If you are interested, it is here:


                  The Short Cellar