Sunday, May 4, 2008

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Strawberries

What a delight this was. Creamy and refreshing and totally worth the effort. The description in the recipe said it is like a frozen mousse. The texture is fantastic. And there are endless variations for a semifreddo.

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar
7 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
1 Tbsp zest of Meyer lemon or regular lemon
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

Line a 9x5 inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a generous overhang. Sprinkle almonds evenly over bottom of pan. Using electric mixer, beat heavy cream in large bowl until soft peaks form. Refrigerate cream while making custard.

Whisk 1 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt in large bowl to blend. Set bowl over large saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until yolk mixture is thick and fluffy and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 170 degrees, about 4 minutes.

Remove bowl from over simmering water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until cool, thick, and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Fold in heavy cream. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Tap loaf pan lightly to remove air pockets. Fold plastic wrap overhang over top to cover. Freeze semifreddo until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Gently mix strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Let macerate for up to 3 hours.

To serve, unfold plastic wrap from top of semifreddo and invert dessert onto platter; remove plastic. Dip heavy large knife into hot water; cut semifreddo crosswise into thick slices. Transfer to plates and spoon strawberries alongside and serve.

Rookie's Notes: When it came time to whisk the egg mixture over the simmering water, it took a lot longer than 4 minutes. Be prepared to stand in front of your stove for a while.

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