I’m taking the Blue Ribbon Challenge!
Well this is my first month participating in the Blue Ribbon Challenge! This wonderful group is created and hosted by Anna from Crunchy Creamy Sweet. Once a month, Anna chooses a delectable food theme. We simply make it in any way we desire, post about it, and link up! The next day, we vote! And the winner earns the coveted Blue Ribbon Badge! Anna is such a sweetheart and this is such great fun! So I encourage everyone to come and join in! Follow the links for more information!
This month, the theme was semifreddo! I have only attempted this once before when I made a Pistachio, Vanilla & Strawberry Semifreddo. And though I think they turned out well, I must admit, I think ice cream is easier to make. I don’t own an electric hand mixer…..so my arms got a work out with my whisk! The result, however, is nothing short of sublime! Lemony, light and luscious! And this time, I added a hidden treat . . . . .
. . . . . little ladyfinger and jam cakes!
YES! Soft little ladyfingers sandwiched with home made blueberry preserves! These preserves were a gift to my son and one of the best home made jams I’ve tasted in a long time! I like the idea of tucking these cakes into the center. It just adds a little texture to the sweet, soft cream. And so versatile in combinations!
So here we go . . . . .
Yields: 6-8 servings
Level of Difficulty: easy
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- zest of 3 lemons
- pinch of salt
Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. (I used a 10 1/4 x 4 inch rectangular pan that I found at the thrift store. But you can use a standard bread pan.) Allow enough plastic wrap to hang over the sides of the pan to fold over and cover the top. Bring a saucepan with about an inch of water to boil over medium heat.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, whisk the cream until medium peaks form. Refrigerate the whipped cream while you prepare the lemon mixture.
In another metal or glass bowl, using your electric mixer, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest and the pinch of salt until it is combined. Now set the bowl on top of the saucepan and reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Whisk the egg yolk mixture until they are light and fluffy. This should take about 4-5 minutes if you are using an electric mixer; but more like 10-12 minutes if you are whisking by hand as I did! Be sure you are whisking constantly. An instant read thermometer will register 165 °F when ready. Return your bowl to your electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the mixture has doubled in volume and the bowl is cool to the touch.
Quickly and gently, fold in the reserved whipped cream in increments. When the whipped cream is fully incorporated, pour half of the mix into your loaf pan. Line with ladyfinger sandwiches and pour the remaining half of the mix on top. Fold the plastic wrap over the top and place the pan into the freezer. Freeze for at least 4-5 hours or overnight. This can also be made 2-3 days in advance of serving.
I used store bought ladyfingers. They came in a package of 24. I simply spread the blueberry preserves on one ladyfinger and topped it with another. I spread the jam on thick enough to be visible when the semifreddo was sliced. I made 12 sandwiches but probably only needed 8. (I’m not telling what became of the others!)
To serve, simply take the pan out of the freezer. Unwrap the plastic from the top and invert it onto your serving platter. Remove the plastic and smooth the tops and sides with an offset spatula. Top and serve with blueberries. I tossed my blueberries in a little splash of Cassis just to give them a shine for the photographs. But boy were those little berries tasty!!!
This was so sweet and light and tart! And really worth the effort up front! I hope you will try this in any variation you desire! And thanks again to Anna from Crunchy Creamy Sweet for such a great challenge. Please head over and check out the many luscious and creamy semifreddos!
Recipe adapted from Anne Burrell and inspired by Grace Parisi.