Semifreddo means half cold in Italian and this simple dessert is a cross between a frozen mousse and an ice-cream. In this version I swirl through deep maroon plum puree and scatter in crumbled amaretti biscuits.
I first made a version of this plum amaretti semifreddo, whilst cooking for a retreat in Sicily earlier this summer and was instantly asked for the recipe. I’d actually slightly freestyled it using a couple of recipes on the internet for guidance (props to BBC Food and Jamie Oliver) since it was a last minute decision to replace my well-used lime avocado tart (thanks to the unusable over ripe sludgy avocados). Thankfully I kept the notes from my Sicilian adventures and 5 weeks later I have finally had the time to retest and tweak the recipe at home to serve 6 instead of 11.
The dark chocolate on top is optional, but we all thought it gave the dish a nostalgic Viennetta vibe. It went down so well, that a reprise was request and Semifreddo mark II popped up on the final night. I made that one with apricots, amaretti and white chocolate shards, although personally I think the plum puree version has the egde in the looks department.
The plum puree needs time to cool, so you have to make this in stages. It’s all very simple other that that. Also, one more thing – If you can use crunchy rather than soft amaretti, they’re texturally more interesting!
- 300g ripe purple plums
- 80g caster sugar, divided
- 2 eggs, separated
- Pinch salt
- 300mls double cream
- 50g Amaretti biscuits, crumbled plus 4-6 whole ones for decoration
- To serve, Dark chocolate
- First make the plum puree. Remove the stalks and stones from the plums and roughly chop. Place in a saucepan with 2 tbsp water and 30g of the sugar. Bring to a bubble and simmer for around 10 minutes until the plums have softened entirely. Allow to cool briefly before blending with a blender or food processor. Pass through a sieve to remove any bits of skin that haven't blitzed up. Set aside to cool fully and refrigerate. This step can be done the day before.
- Line a 2lb loaf tin with clingfilm.
- There are 3 things to whisk separately; 1) the egg yolks with 50g sugar till pale and creamy, 2) egg whites with salt till stiff and 3) the cream till soft peaks form. Do this in separate bowls and clean the beaters well between each use. Gently fold them all together till smooth, and then finally fold in 50g of the crumbled amaretti biscuits - you now have your semifreddo base.
- Pour half of the semifreddo base into the lined loaf tin, and swirl in half of the plum puree. Top with the remaining base mix, swirl the remaining plum puree into the top, and pop a few amaretti biscuits on top for decoration.
- Freeze for at least 4-5 hours or even better overnight.
- Remove from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving (depending on the temperature of your room), peel off the clingfilm and slice into 6 equal portions dipping your knife in water in-between each cut for a cleaner look, plate up and sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings. Eat straight away!