Yeah, Summer is almost over. Normally, I am a fan of the end of Summer, but this year it’s a little sad because hardly any of our tomatoes have turned red. Maybe five. Total. I’m going to have to use up SO MANY green tomatoes this year. *sigh*
Another reason I know that Summer is almost over is because this will probably be the last frozen dessert of the year. I made it for jwa’s birthday dinner and it turned out lemony, creamy and delicious. I was a little sneaky and put it all together Sunday afternoon and then left it in the freezer for a day — worked perfectly. This is also a half recipe, as I used a small dish about half the size of a traditional loaf pan. If you want to use a loaf pan, double the recipe below.
I also made some lavender shortbread to go with the semifreddo and they were wonderful! Recipe here: Lemon-Lavender Shortbread. I omitted the lemon zest in the recipe (since my semifreddo had plenty of lemon) and used 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract instead. I rolled each sliced round in raw sugar before baking for the sparkly edges. Everyone loves sparkly edges!
But, back to the main point of the post —
Adapted from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Again, if using a traditional sized loaf pan, double the recipe below!
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice
1.5 lemons, zest finely grated
Garnish: fresh berries, shortbread cookies
Line a 6 X 4 inch baking dish (or there abouts) with plastic wrap. Be sure to leave plenty of plastic around the edges so they can be folded over to cover the top. Put the almonds in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Reserve.
Whip the cream with a whisk or an electric beater until it forms medium peaks. Scoop out into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Reserve the mixing bowl as you will be using this to beat the lemon/yolk mixture also.
Bring a saucepan with about 1-inch of water to a boil, over low heat. In a metal or glass bowl, combine the 1 1/4 cups of sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest and the pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. Put the bowl on the saucepan, and reduce the heat under the saucepan so the water is just at a simmer. Whisk the egg mixture until it gets very light and fluffy, this will take about 4 to 5 minutes. For an insurance policy you can take the temperature of this mixture. It should be about 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Add the mixture to the mixer bowl on the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the mixture has doubled in volume and the bottom of the bowl is cool when touched.
Fold in the reserved whipped cream in increments. Do this gently but quickly. When it is a homogeneous mixture, pour it into the prepared pan.
Fold the plastic over the top and transfer to the freezer. Freeze at least 4 to 5 hours, but this can be done overnight or up to a couple days in advance.
Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and open the plastic. Turn the semifreddo out of the loaf pan to a serving platter and remove the plastic. With hot knife, slice the semifreddo into 1-inch slices.
Serve with your fresh berries and some shortbread cookies if you’ve got some. Oh, Summer 2010, we hardly knew ye…