plum semifreddo

July 16, 2013


The last time I made semifreddo was 3 1/2 years ago {remember?}. I made a meyer lemon one, and for being a chocoholic, I was so impressed with it. It was light and refreshing, and completely satisfying. I decided to try another semifreddo when I saw this recipe in the recent Bon Appetit. It includes a fresh plum puree that is delicious by the spoonful! You’re supposed to save some for spooning over the finished dessert, but I might have eaten it all..

Plum Semifreddo from Bon Appetit July 2013


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 pounds red plums, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup sugar, divided
Kosher salt
3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream


Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with plastic wrap, leaving a generous overhang on all sides.

Combine plums, cardamom, 1/3 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until plums release their juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until plums soften and start to fall apart, 6–8 minutes longer. Let cool slightly.

Purée plum mixture in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids. Let cool. Set aside 1 cup purée for serving.

Whisk egg whites, a pinch of salt, and remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a medium heatproof bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water). Heat, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan. Add vanilla and, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is tripled in volume, glossy, and completely cool, about 10 minutes.

Using clean beaters, whip cream in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into egg-white mixture until just combined. Fold in remaining whipped cream until just combined. Fold in plum purée just until large streaks appear throughout mixture.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan and smooth top. Fold plastic wrap overhang over top and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.

Unwrap semifreddo and, using plastic overhang, gently lift from pan. Invert semifreddo onto a large platter, remove plastic wrap, and slice 1 inch thick; transfer to plates and let sit at least 5 minutes to soften slightly. Serve with reserved plum purée.

DO AHEAD: Plum purée can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Semifreddo can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.

Semifreddo is a perfect cold dessert for those hot summer evenings, where turning the oven on seems like the worst idea in the world! Have you ever tried semifreddo? What did you think?
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