Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blueberry Semifreddo

This recipe is adapted from one that I saw in Fine Cooking Magazine. I have made it a couple of times and it is absolutely delicious. It isn't hard to make, but it does use a few bowls! It was the perfect end to an energetic, loud, boisterous dinner with friends at the end of July.
The date is important because we had recently been blueberry picking (yes Virginia, blueberries do grow in Texas) at the delightful BlueBerry Hill farm in Edom. So we had lots of blueberries, some home made blueberry peach ginger jam. We used a blackberry liqueur called creme de mure, but cassis would work equally well. You want a fruity liqueur in this dish since the other flavors are a bit bland.
The dish is made in several parts and then assembled and frozen. When unmolded it looked like this.
Thanks to Julie Collins for the picture


1 cup blueberries
2/3 cups sugar (divided use)
1/4 cup blueberry jam
1T balsamic vinegar
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup fruity liqueur (creme de cassis or creme de mure)
very small pinch of salt
2 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1 1/2 ups heavy whipping cream (very cold)
1/4 cup blueberry jam
1T balsamic vinegar


Place the utensils for whipping the cream into the freezer.
Warm the blueberries with 2T sugar and the tiny pinch of salt until the juice runs out of the berries. Strain the juices and immediately chill the juice in the fridge. Similarly with the blueberry jam/balsamic vinegar mixture, warm it to gently, strain the juice and chill./. These are used at 2 different stages.
Make a zabaglione with the 5 egg yolks, half the remaining sugar, and the fruity liqueur. This involves setting a water bath on the stove and bringing to a simmer. Place the sugar, fruity liqueur, egg yolks  into a non reactive, heatproof bowl and mix to break up the yolks. Place the bowl above the simmering water (taking care to ensure that the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water), whisk the egg yolks until light and fluffy. The whisk will leave tracks in the mixture when it is done. Then add the chilled blueberry juice and whisk to incorporate. Remove the mixture to an ice bath.
Wash, clean and dry the beaters. You are about to make meringue, so the beaters and bowl must be very clean with no traces of fat. I wipe the bowl and beaters with a little vinegar to degrease them before making meringue since there will be a little acid required anyway. The bowl and the eggs need to be at room temperature to start with.
Whisk the eggs lightly until just foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk some more until the eggs start to look quite white. Add the rest of the sugar, whisk more and then place the bowl over the simmering water. Whisk for at least 5 minutes - until the egg whites show stiff peaks. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is room temperature. Cool the egg mixture.
Whip the cream until just past the floppy stage. Don't overwhip.  Chill.
Using cling wrap, make a sling along the long sides of 2lb loaf pan.
Fold the egg whites into the zabaglione in three additions. Fold the cream into the egg mixture, gently only working long enough so that no white streaks remain. Add the chilled jam/vinegar liquid on top of the mixture and swirl with a couple of strokes. Don't mix more than that or you will lose the effect. Place the mixture into the prepared bread pan. Fold the cling wrap over the top to seal, and freeze until set. This will depend on your freezer, but at least 6 hours, preferably more. When I make it, I give it 24 hours.
To serve, unmold the loaf onto a suitably sized plate, remove the cling wrap, decorate (or not) as you wish.
We served this with a Pedro Ximenez 1985 La Bodega sweet sherry


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