An easy, creamy peach of a dessert!
A few years ago, I thought that ice cream was going to be the new rock and roll – or at least the new cupcake. There is no denying that ice cream quality and flavours have gone through the roof in the past few years, but it can let you down when it comes to presentation: too hard to scoop, splodged on the plate. That is where semifreddo comes in. Ice cream’s foxy, insta-ready cousin is rich and creamy, looks great on the plate and, vitally, can be made well in advance without the need of an ice cream maker.
That last point is key, because I looked at my ice cream bowl last week (it attaches to my beloved Kitchen Aid) and it has blue goo coming out of it, a bit like the robots in that series, Humans. I have a strong suspicion it is no longer safe to use…
Spiked with cognac…
Opie’s asked me to make a fancy dessert with their new peaches in Courvoisier – a cognac spiked creation to add a little zing to dessert. Don’t panic, they won’t get you drunk. They contain 5% alcohol or less by volume but there is a really grown up taste to them. Just be aware that they aren’t cooked in this recipe, so if anyone is alcohol adverse, or a toddler, please advise them. As it is, I can’t drink but the amount of alcohol in here means I can enjoy them with no adverse effects.
There are two things I love about semifreddo:
- It tastes like it must have been slaved over because it is so creamy, but it is easy peasy to make. This recipe only needs one item weighing because you use one tub of cream!
- It can be made ready to slice in a loaf tin, or ready to serve if you have individual little tins. Either way, make it a couple of days ahead of time and then get on with life!
People have a lot of different methods for making semifreddo – whole eggs, only yokes, only whites and using Greek yoghurt instead of cream and eggs (surely that is a froyo?). I went down the custardy route and used mainly yokes but with a whole egg thrown in for good measure and body (egg whites whisk up beautifully). Also, I used less sugar than most recipes – I was looking to create a grown up creaminess, not a sugar rush. Plus, you don’t need a tonne of sugar to keep it soft, so go gentle would be my advice.
I have made sure that the peaches really shine through in this recipe, so I use them in the mix, and scattered to serve. You can buy these punchy peaches in Tesco and find out more about Opies Foods on their website. They also have cherries in kirsch which I have been eating out of the jar until I have tummy ache!
This peach semifreddo is a fantastic way to end a meal and brings a little bit of sunshine with it whatever the weather!
This is an easy make ahead dessert which looks great when presented to the table. But don't panic, the peach semifreddo is easy to make, and can sit in the freezer until you are ready for it.
- 300 ml double cream
- 75 g caster sugar
- 4 medium/large eggs – 1 whole and 3 yolks
- 1 jar Opie’s peaches with Courvoisier
Line a 2lb / 900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper or clingfilm. Leave enough hanging over that you will be able to cover the top as well.
Whip a 300ml tub of double cream until thick, then pop in the fridge. Rinse your whisk beaters clean.
Weight the sugar and add the eggs in a heat proof bowl which fits over a pan. You are going to create a bain marie. Bring just an inch of water to a simmer in a pan then place the bowl on top.
Keeping the heat to a low simmer, begin to whisk the egg and sugar with an electric hand whisk. You need to whisk until it has grown at least double in size, and the colour has gone much lighter. I do the first couple of minutes on a low speed, and once everything is starting to blend, I bring it up to a medium speed. Expect to whisk for 8-10 minutes. Be careful as you are whisking over very hot water.
Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to one side. It needs to cool completely before you continue. It will take about 30 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is – open the windows!
While the mix cools, you can prep the peaches. Remove six halves from the jar. Thinly slice one piece and place the slices in the bottom of the lined loaf tin. Using a food processor, blitz the other five with a splash of the syrup until tiny pieces – almost puree but not quite. You could also chop into small pieces with a knife if you don’t have a processor.
Mix the almost puree into the cooled egg and sugar. Then fold through the whipped cream – use a metal spoon and do it in batches so that everything gets nicely combined.
Pour the mix into the prepared loaf tin and give it a tap on the worktop to pop any air bubbles. Put in the freezer for at least 8 hours. I make it the day before.
Place your serving plate in the fridge for a couple of hours before you plan to serve it up.
Remove the semifreddo from the freezer and invert directly on to the chilled serving plate. It will slice easily after standing for just a couple of minutes.
Serve with the remaining peaches and a drizzle of the syrup if you fancy.
If you can’t get hold of Opie’s peaches, use a can or jar of peach halves. You are looking at approx 330g drained weight.
- Use the left over egg whites to make tiny meringues to serve along side
- Serve with fresh raspberries and meringues to make it a peach melba semifreddo – you could also add raspberries into the mix
- Pour the mix into ramekins or mini loaf tins to create individual servings
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