The Sauce: Semifreddo – Peaches, egg yolks and sugar pureed then whipped cream and meringue are folded in to create a light and airy consistency ready for freezing.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
What could be more inviting than a frosty, cold dessert at the intersection of ice cream and gelato? August temperatures and summer suppers invite frozen indulgences but I don’t have an ice cream maker. Salted Butter Semifreddo turned my head when Food52 recently featured the recipe. Italians think of everything. This Peach Semifreddo is made without heat or churn. All you need is a mixer and food processor.
Then when my neighbor Debbie gave me a box of orchard picked peaches, I already knew deep in my heart it was destined for semifreddo. Never made it before, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met or tasted it before but I had an ache to try it. So I whipped up a batch and socked it away in the freezer in two containers, one 2 quart container to freeze overnight and a small 3/4 cup size I knew would freeze in an hour or two. I wanted to taste the result without tossing and turning all night with anticipation. Debbie says, “It tastes like a fresh peach creamsicle, but more upscale.” I’m in heaven.
Recipe: Peach Semifreddo
Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Inactive Time: 4-12 Hours | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1/2 Gallon | Level: Moderate
- 3 large ripe peaches, pitted and cubed with peel
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar, divided
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup heavy cream
Special Equipment – food processor, mixer
1 Place peaches, lemon juice, 2/3 cup sugar, egg yolks and almond extract in a food processor. Process for 45-60 seconds until peel is dispersed into very tiny flecks and the color of the puree is light and creamy. Taste and add more sugar as needed to balance the sweetness of the peaches.
2 Place 4 egg whites into a mixer and whip to soft peaks. Slowly stream in 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until it becomes a medium stiff peak meringue.
3 Place the peach puree and 1/2 the meringue into a large bowl and whisk gently until combined. Fold in the rest of the meringue.
4 Beat the whipped cream to medium peaks then fold into the peach mixture.
You can substitute other fruit purees like blueberries, strawberries or blackberries. Use equivalent amounts of fruit. Substitute vanilla for almond.
A word about semifreddo containers, most recipe instructions say to place the liquid semifreddo in a loaf pan lined with parchment or plastic wrap. Once frozen, it is sliced for serving. This is very traditional and lovely but I prefer to freeze it in a 2-quart container and scoop it like ice cream or gelato. Choose your preference.
Serve scooped in a dish with a few loose raspberries. Also scoop on pie, crumble, crisp, cobbler, buckle, brown betty, pandowdy.
Make a milkshake by adding more fruit and a little milk.
- Exchange peach for blueberry, strawberry or blackberry puree.
Inspiration – Brad Spence
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: August 27, 2013