This is an absolutely amazing dessert—a grown-up take on a root beer float that’ll also remind you of a childhood ice cream popsicle. All in all, simultaneously sophisticated and fun.
Other times of year, substitute other fruits in season. (I did it with poached apricots for the August/September ’12 issue of Fine Cooking—here’s that recipe.)
- 2 large navel oranges, peeled and separated into sections
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- About 1 1/2 pints vanilla ice cream
- 1 bottle (750mL) sweet sparkling wine (for example, Asti Spumante)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oranges, sugar, and vanilla seeds (save the pod for another use if you like) and process to puree, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until well chilled. (You can make the orange mixture up to 3 days in advance, storing it covered in the refrigerator.)
Place two small scoops of the ice cream in each of 6 tall, high-ball style glasses. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the orange mixture. Repeat another layer of ice cream and sauce. Add about 1/2 cup of the sparkling wine to each glass. Serve immediately, with straws and spoons.