July 05, 2011

Summer Delight: Silky Lemon Semifreddo


Have I mentioned how HOT it is in Texas?  So hot that I've been having an ice cream sandwich or popsicle every day. Probably not the best diet to have.

My daily conversations with Liz always revolve around food - what we are currently eating, plan to cook or would love to be eating. She is a master hostess and made an amazing ice cream dessert for one of her dinner parties, which inspired me to make a semifreddo.  

In my research for the best recipe, I found that there are several many ways to make this dessert.  It doesn't have to be citrus based - some are based on berries, bananas or mangoes. Insight from Liz is that the flavor sometimes isn't as strong so in order to get that intense lemon flavor, I added more lemon and lime juice than the original recipe and also cut back on the sugar and buttered crust. You can also add in some lemon flavored liquor to give it a little more punch, but I can't justify buying a bottle of limoncello, for instance, just for one dessert. 

Just be prepared, you'll go through several bowls and mixers. Another downside? You have to wait eight hours until you can enjoy it, but that gives you plenty of time to do the dishes...

Lemon Semifreddo
(adapted from Giada)
20 amaretto cookies (can be found at Central Market)
1 cup heavy cream
Zest from 2 lemons
Zest from 1 lime
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 4-5 large lemons for me)
1/4 cup lime juice (approximately 4 limes) 
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup sugar 
Pinch of salt

1. Prepare everything first. Zest the lemons and lime first before squeeze the juice from them. Squeeze the rest of the lemons and limes, which I do directly into the measuring cup so I know exactly how many more lemons/limes I need. Get a large bowl, fill with water and ice and set aside.
2. Get a small saucepan with water, put on stove until it starts simmering. While that is happening, separate the egg yolks and whites. Save the whites for another meal/dish. Put the egg yolks directly into a large bowl that will fit on top of the pot of simmering water.  Add 1/3 cup sugar, lemon and lime juice, and the salt. 
3. Put it on top of the simmering water on the stove and using an electric mixer, mix until it almost triples in size and is fluffy, creamy/frothing and turns a pale yellow. This took about 7 minutes.
4. Once done, take the bowl and put into the ice bath so it completely cools down. Fold in the zest.
5. Next, whip the heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar until it also triples in size and holds firm peaks when you stop.
6. Fold the heavy whipping cream into the lemon mixture.
7. Take a loaf pan and spray with cooking oil.  Take a plastic wrap that is enough to wrap around the pan and stick it to the bottom and sides of the pan.  Make sure you have enough plastic wrap hanging over both sides of the pan so that you can fold this over later. Take a few handfuls of the amaretto cookies and crumble them into the bottom of the loaf pan until you have a very very very thin layer of crumbles.  This was approximately 10-12 cookies.  If you wanted a firmer, richer crust, you can mix the crumbled cookies with melted butter before putting in the pan, but I think this is just fine without those few extra calories...
8. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan.  Fold over the plastic wrap so it covers the top and put this in the freezer for a least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
9. To serve, unfold the top two layers of plastic wrap and pull out. If you can't, put the sides of the loaf pan under hot water - careful not to get the semifreddo wet.  You should be able to easily take out.  Slice about 1 inch pieces for a serving and crumble two amaretto cookies on top for additional extra crunch.  

I dare you to have only one slice.

No comments:

Post a Comment