terça-feira, 6 de julho de 2010

Strawberry and rhubarb semifreddo




Semifreddo is a easy ice cream like dessert of Italian origin. Semifreddos are very easy to make and differently from ice creams they don't require any machine for churning or hand mixing at all. The semifreddo mixture goes straight to freezer and there it stays until serving time. There are many ways to prepare semifreddo and all of them are very simple.



The logic of the semifreddo mixture is very similar to that of the ice cream but while ice creams are often made out of cooked custard, semifreddos are often made out of raw egg mixtures. The ways I make semifreddo are: (1) a mix of egg yolks and whites whisked with sugar, separately, and then mixed together (2) a mix of egg yolks and whites whisked with sugar, separately, whipped cream and then everything mixed together, (3) egg whites whisked with sugar into a hard meringue and whipped cream mixed together. You can mix crushed nuts, chocolates, meringues, cookies, fruits, sauces and compotes to the mixture to add flavor to your semifreddo. The last version (egg whites + whipped cream) makes my favorite version for most flavors.



Strawberry and rhubarb semifreddo


4 egg whites
8 tablespoons of sugar
300 ml heavy cream
250 ml rhubarb and strawberry compote (see below)
1 cup of crushed meringues
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

How:

Line a loaf pan with cling film and set aside. Whisk the egg whites and when they start to harden a little start adding the sugar slowly and keep whisking and adding the sugar until you get a hard shining meringue, set it aside. Whip the cream until hard peaks start to form and set aside. Add the vanilla and the rhubarb-strawberry compote to the egg whites and incorporate using a spatula or metal spoon. Add the whipped cream to the mixture and using a spatula mix slowly until completely incorporated, remember that you want to keep the air in the mixture.



Spoon one thick layer of the mixture in the prepared loaf pan, cover the first layer with a good layer of the crushed meringues and finalize with a second layer of the mixture. Level the top, cover with more film and freeze it for at least four hours.

Remove from freezer at least 5-10 minutes before serving, remove from pan and transfer to a plate. Serve with fresh strawberries or a fruit sauce.

Serves 8 to 10.




Strawberry and rhubarb compote

400 grams drained and cooked rhubarb pulp
250 grams strawberries
100 to 200 grams sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice

How:

The rhubarb used to make this compote was previously cooked and had their juice drained as I had boiled the stalks with sugar and water to make some rhubarb gelatin. The pulp that was left after the juice was drained I used to make this compote. I used 400 grams of rhubarb pulp to 250 grams of strawberry (half 500g basket) but you can make this compote with different measures if you like.

Chop the strawberries in small pieces. In a medium pan add the strawberries, the sugar and the lemon juice and let it cook over a medium heat until boil. Once it boils reduce the heat to medium-low and let the fruits cook for 10 minutes or until soft and slightly reduced. Once the strawberries have cooked enough start adding spoonfuls of rhubarb pulp to the strawberry jam and using a wood spoon stir constantly to incorporate. If necessary increase heat to medium until the mixture boil. Let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.

Let it cool slightly and jar the compote in sterilized jars.



Chopped rhubarb stalks...


Drained cooked rhubarb pulp..


Strawberry and rhubarb compote

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