INGREDIENTS (Serves 4):
50 gr. stoned prunes
67 ml. water
20 gr. calcium oxide
350 gr. white sugar
1 l. water
25 gr. dried chilli peppers
200 ml. Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
4 sansho seeds (Sichuan pepper)
Prune juice: Place the water with the prunes in a vacuum pack and close but with very little pressure. Cook in a bain-marie for 90 min. at 70ºC, then leave to cool. When cold, strain without applying any pressure to the prunes. Chill the juice and strain through a damp cloth filter. Chill.
Earthy plum: Peel the beetroots and form into irregular ball shapes weighing 13-16 gr. each. Add the calcium oxide to a pan of water. This must be done in this order because if the water is added to the calcium the temperature would rise immediately. Mix the calcium solution very well, using a spoon. Add the beetroot balls and leave fully submerged for 3 h. Stir occasionally to prevent the calcium from settling (if it settles it cannot act). Remove the balls and wash very well in running water. Place in a large pan full of cold water and boil for 3 h. Transfer to another pan of boiling water and continue the process of washing the colour and oxidising the beetroot for another 3 hours.
In a separate pan, make a syrup with the litre of water and 350 gr. of sugar. Cook the beetroots in this syrup until the calcified outside surface looks dehydrated. Wash in warm water to remove any surplus sugar and shine, and place in the chilled prune juice so that the beetroots takes on the prune flavour.
Hot accents: Place the oil and chilli peppers in a pan and leave to soak at room temperature for 48 h.
Fresh accents: Collect the sansho seeds and remove the husks from some so that the skin releases its aroma.
Drain the earthy prunes and smoke lightly with vine wood.
Place one beetroot on a plate with a dip section. Add 3 drops of hot oil, and sprinkle with the sansho seeds.
Serve the warm prune juice in the dip on the plate.