I am officially putting summer on notice. Seriously. Start packing up. Time to go. There’s only a week and half left in August and then it’ll finally be September. Even though fall doesn’t technically start for a full month, I consider September 1st the first unofficial day of fall. It’s like how they start putting out all the Christmas stuff right after Halloween. I am ready for fall and I don’t care what the calendar (or the weather) says. Here’s what you can expect in the coming months: lots of soup and pumpkin and cinnamon and apples. If you were with me right now, you would see I am laughing like an evil villain. Can you tell I love fall?
But anyway. Back to summer. Because it is still summer for a little while and I need to take advantage of all the awesome summer produce while I still can. My CSA informed me that it was the last week we would be getting peaches, so I wanted to do something fun with them. A semifreddo is something that I’ve been wanting to attempt for awhile. It’s similar to ice cream but you don’t need a machine. You just pour it in a pan and freeze. Then you can scoop it out like ice cream or cut it into slices like ice cream cake! The problem is that it’s typically made with lots of whipped cream to give it a fluffy, light texture. After a summer of eating delicious but high calorie treats like peach dumplings and blueberry donut muffins, I’m trying to take a break from overindulging for a while. Luckily I found this recipe for a lightened up semifreddo. It uses whipped egg whites, low-fat milk and sour cream to give it that creamy texture without all the extra calories.
Even the ripest peaches seem to have a pretty subtle flavor when you puree them, so I love the addition of the blackberries in this recipe. For one thing, I think it looks cool to have whole blackberries frozen in the middle (even if they accidentally got jostled around and didn’t freeze symmetrically) and the blackberry glaze on top gives a nice burst of tartness to contrast with the earthy peach flavor of the semifreddo.
The only thing about this recipe is that it’s best to eat it the same day you make it. “Semifreddo” means semi-frozen and once you cross over into totally frozen it’s just not as good. I think that’s the downside of not using whipped cream. On the second day, after it had been sitting in the freezer overnight it had gotten quite crystallized and lost a lot of the creaminess. But that’s ok because I found a solution! Cut off a chunk and pulse it in a food processor or blender for a minute until smooth. It makes a really delicious peach-blackberry soft serve ice cream. If you add a little milk and blend for a little longer you’ll have a smoothie. So basically you can have this for dessert one night and then have it for breakfast for the next couple of days. I like that kind of versatility in a recipe!
Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Glaze
adapted from The Vegetarian Times
Dessert | Servings: 10
Prep time: 25 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 4 hour 35 min
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar, separated
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk*
- 3 cups sliced fresh peaches
- 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream*
- 1/8 tsp. almond extract** (optional)
- 1 pint blackberries, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
* If you don’t care so much about the extra calories you can use whole milk and/or full fat sour cream to increase the creaminess of this dessert.
** I found this to be overpowering and would leave it out next time, but I’m not a huge fan of almond flavor in the first place.
- 1/2 pint blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 2 tbsp. sugar*** (or to taste)
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
*** I recommend superfine sugar since it will dissolve easier. If you don’t have any, you can put regular sugar in a blender for a few seconds.
- Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with plastic wrap.
- Separate your eggs putting the yolks into a medium bowl and the whites into a small bowl. Set aside the whites and let them come to room temperature.
- Add 1/4 cup sugar to the bowl with the yolks and whisk until thick and light yellow, about 1 minute.
- Bring milk to boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat (so it won’t boil), stirring often, 5-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the custard is thick enough to coat the back of spoon. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer and cool.
- Place the peach slices into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooled custard, sour cream and almond extract (if using).
- Put egg whites into a mixer bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the the peach mixture.
Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Place three rows of blackberries on their sides into the pan. Top with the remaining mixture. Optional: I placed 2 more rows of blackberries in between the previous rows and used a spatula to gently press them down and cover them up.
- Cover and gently transfer to a flat surface in your freezer. Freeze for about 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the blackberry glaze by using a spatula to crush the blackberries through a fine-mesh strainer. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Chill.
When ready to serve, remove the semifreddo from the freezer and let stand for 10 minutes. Lift it out the pan and place on a flat surface. Drizzle with blackberry sauce. Slice and serve.
To turn into a soft serve, slice off as many servings as you would like and pulse in a food processor or blender until smooth. Top with blackberry sauce.
Serving size: 1 slice (1/10th)