Friday, September 11, 2009

Peach Semifreddo

Peaches are so superb right now it’s hard to resist buying them in great quantity. I found some amazing peaches at our local farmer’s market that were brightly blushing, fabulously fragrant and sensationally sweet. Nothing compares to a ripe and juicy peach full of the unmistakable flavor of summer. Let’s jump at the chance to enjoy the last of this season’s goodness before they make their exit for another year.

I set out to make something very simple and light that would showcase their luscious fresh flavor. This is a soft and subtle celebration of peaches, perfectly cool and creamy after a delicious meal, a gentle and sweet reminder of the good grace of this magnificent fruit.

Bench notes:
- The peaches for this dessert must be at peak ripeness or you won’t have the desired flavor. Find the best peaches you can get your hands on! Adjust the sugar in the recipe according to the sweetness of your peaches.
- I like this on its own, but you can serve it with berries, almond cookies or a very light sprinkle of almond praliné.

Peach Semifreddo
Serves 6 to 8

3 large or 4 medium fresh ripe peaches
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup + 2 T sugar, divided
3 egg whites
1 C heavy cream, chilled
1 t kirsch or 1/4 t almond extract

Line an 8” x 4” loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on each 8” side. You can also place a strip of parchment paper on top of the plastic to help form smoother sides.

Coarsely chop the peaches and place in a food processor with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Process until you have a smooth puree. Press the puree through a sieve to remove bits of skin. Taste for a balance of sugar.

Beat egg whites until they are opaque and hold soft peaks. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar just a little bit at a time, increasing speed to high. Beat until meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.

Whip chilled cream with kirsch or almond extract just until it holds soft peaks.

Gently fold meringue into whipped cream, then fold into the peach puree. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top until it’s level and fold the ends of the parchment paper and plastic wrap over to cover. Place in your freezer until firm, about 8 hours or overnight.

Run a thin knife or small metal spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the semifreddo. Place a serving plate on top of the pan and invert. Carefully pull off the pan and its lining.

Slice with a sharp knife and serve immediately.


Dawn said...

do you think a balsamic reduction would be good with this?

pastry studio said...

Dawn, that is a very interesting suggestion. This dessert has a very soft peach flavor, so I would think you would want to use it very sparingly since a balsamic reduction really concentrates the flavor and it would add a very sharp, acidic element. But perhaps a light drizzle? Please let me know if you try it!

anna said...

Oh, peaches. I'm going to miss you. We had some good times together though. And you'll be back next year.

Barbara said...

I was thinking just last week that I wanted to make a semifreddo and yours is absolutely beautiful. The color is soft and luscious and I hope I can find peaches like yours. Garnishing with raspberries is the right touch. Perfect!

Aran said...

nothing beats a ripe, sweet peach. beautiful!

Gloria said...

Oh to NOT be allergic to peaches anymore!