Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Mixed Berries
This was far and away the star of the show last weekend. I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit a while ago and was drawn to it because it seemed like ice cream that you didn’t need an ice cream maker to make. And I love lemon and berries. Overall, this was pretty simple to make, especially considering the results. The longest part was bringing the egg yolk mixture up to 170 degrees, which took me about 20 minutes. The rest was simple. I used mostly Meyer lemons in this, which are milder than regular lemons and have a richer flavor, so they are worth seeking out at the farmers market or Whole Foods for this recipe. If you can’t find them, regular lemons will do. Be sure you don’t skip the part about covering the bottom of the pan with almonds…it helps the semifreddo avoid sticking to the pan. This recipe from Bon Appetit serves 8.
1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted (or substitute chopped pistachios)
1 3/4 c chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
7 large egg yolks
1 T plus 2 t lemon zest
1/2 c freshly squeezed Meyer or regular lemon juice
1/4 t salt
4 c mixed fresh berries (such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries)
Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or waxed paper, letting the extra hang over the sides. Sprinkle the bottom of the lined pan with the almonds, making sure they lie flat. Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form and keep in the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the recipe.
In a large metal bowl, combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and salt. Set bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk mixture constantly until it reaches 170 degrees on a candy thermometer. It will be pale and fluffy. Turn the heat off under the water and remove the bowl to the counter. Using an eclectic mixer on medium, beat the until mixture it is cooled and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Gently fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture until combined. Scoop mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Gently tap the pan a few times on the counter to release air bubbles. Cover the top with the plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
For berries: mix berries with remaining 2 T sugar and mix. This can be done up to 3 hours before serving if kept in a refrigerator.
To serve, unwrap the top of the semifreddo and invert the pan onto a serving platter. The semifreddo should slip right out. Remove the plastic wrap and spoon the berries around the semifreddo. Slice the semifreddo and serve topped with berries. Serve immeditaley because it melts very quickly.