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Peach and Espresso Semifreddo
(recipe, Katherine Sacks)
- 2 nectarines or peaches, washed, pits and skins removed, sliced into ½-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- ⅔ cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 Tbsp. strong espresso
- In a large bowl, combine the fruit with the brown sugar and let sit for about 20 minutes; purée in a food processor until smooth. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain into a medium bowl, pushing on the purée to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Set aside.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, beat together the eggs and honey. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and hand beat, or carefully whisk with an electric mixer, until the egg temperature reaches 160 degrees and the eggs have tripled in volume. Remove from the heat and continue beating until thick and cool, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- In a chilled bowl, whisk the heavy cream until it is thick and holds soft peaks. When the egg mixture has cooled, mix a portion of the cream into the eggs, gently folding it together with a spatula. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
- Pour half of the cream-egg mixture into the bowl with the fruit purée, and gently fold to combine. Add the espresso to the other half of the cream-egg mixture, and fold together.
- Pour the fruit mixture into a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan (line the pan with plastic wrap for easy removal) or molds of your choosing (see Note, below), cover, and place in the freezer for about 2 hours. In the meantime, cover the espresso mixture by placing plastic wrap directly on the top of mixture, and chill. When the fruit semifreddo is set, pour the espresso mixture on top, using a spatula to smooth it out, and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
- To serve, uncover the semifreddo and, using the plastic wrap, lift it out of the loaf pan. Invert onto a platter or cutting board and slice crosswise using a hot knife. Or, simply scoop the dessert out of the loaf pan with an ice-cream scoop. Allow the mousse to temper (or soften slightly) before serving, and pair with toasted almonds and fresh peach slices.
The semifreddo will keep, covered, in the freezer for about 2 weeks.
When using cups as mold, I wouldn't suggest lining them with plastic. If you use paper cups as molds, cut a slit down the side to remove the semifreddo. If you use glass molds, run the frozen molds under hot running water briefly to help remove the semifreddo.