Since Fall is a time when the weather is often warm in the day, but cooler at night, for my Autumnal lunch, I plan on serving a dessert that is both hot and cold in temperature. A semifreddo is an Italian dessert that is partially frozen.
While there are many variations, the one I'll offer guests is a luxurious mixture of almonds and heavy cream. What about the hot? — you wonder, that comes in the form of syrupy caramelized apples that are drizzled onto the semifreddo. The dessert is delicious without being overly rich or sweet making it the perfect conclusion to a late lunch. To get the recipe keep reading.
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
3 ounces almond paste (1/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split
3 Golden Delicious apples peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup apple cider
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray and line it with plastic wrap, allowing at least 3 inches of overhang all around.
- Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Transfer the almonds to a food processor and let cool. Add the almond paste, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and process until the nuts are finely chopped.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Boil over moderate heat until the syrup is slightly thickened but not colored, 4 to 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whole eggs with the egg yolk at medium-high speed until frothy. Slowly and carefully pour in the hot sugar and beat at high speed until fluffy and cool, about 7 minutes.
- In another large bowl, beat the cream with the vanilla extract until firm. Fold the beaten egg mixture into the cream until no streaks remain.
- Fold in the almond mixture and scrape into the loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- In a large skillet, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Boil over moderate heat, swirling the pan, until a deep, amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until any liquid evaporates and the apples are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the cider and boil until a thick syrup forms, about 3 minutes longer; discard the vanilla bean.
- Unmold and unwrap the semifreddo and cut into 8 slices. Spoon the caramelized apples on top and serve right away.
- Desserts, Frozen