Semifreddo

June 30, 2010

If there’s one item that sums up the all too brief lease of summer, the evanescent particularity of colour and flavour,  then for me it’s gooseberries. If there’s another thing, it’s elderflowers.  So when I not only received a gift of some home grown berries but saw this recipe for gooseberry and elderflower semifreddo it felt like fate was shoving me in the back big time.  It’s gorgeous, so if you’ve access to a goosegog dealer over the next couple of weeks, this is heartily recommended.  

First off, make some caramelised nuts – simply melt sugar in a heavy pan until light brown, throw in 100g of your preferred nut, let them cool and harden and then bash about roughly. It’s easy if you put them in a sandwich bag and use a rolling pin.

Then take around 500g of gooseberries and poach gently for a few minutes with 50g of sugar,  two tablespoons of water and 80ml of elderflower cordial until they are soft but still whole. Then puree half of them with some of the liquor and leave to cool. Separate two eggs, mix the yolks with 50g of sugar,  whisk the whites until they form peaks and whisk 250 g of  double cream to the same stage.

Then basically just fold them all together  – the puree into the eggs yolks, then the cream, then the egg whites and then the nuts – and then freeze  for around four hours. It should by then be somewhere in texture between mousse and ice-cream – don’t be tempted to try it fully frozen, it just kills the flavour. Serve up a slice with few of the remaining berries and spoonful of the poaching liquour. Heaven.

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