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Plum and Amaretti Semifreddo

Lighter than ice cream because it relies on a meringue, rather than custard base, this is absolutely refreshing on a warm summer day! We actually subbed in pluots for the plums, which worked beautifully. Meanwhile, we couldn’t put our hands on soft amaretti locally so we made our own (recipe included below) and enjoyed nibbling the leftovers since only about 5 were needed for the semifreddo — bonus!

Plum and Amaretti Semifreddo

1 lb. ripe purple plums, halved and pitted
12 oz. caster sugar, divided (1½ cups plus 2 tbs.)
2 large egg whites
10 fl. oz. whipping cream
1 tbs. amaretto liqueur
3 oz. soft amaretti biscuits*, roughly broken up

Put the plums in a pan with 2 tbs. water and ½ cup of the sugar. Bring just to a simmer, then cover with a lid and stew over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft. Allow to cool slightly, then blitz with a hand blender. Pass through a sieve to remove the plum skins. Allow to cool.

Put the remaining sugar (1 cup plus 2 tbs.) in a pan with 5 fl. oz. water, and dissolve over a low heat. Turn up the heat and boil for 5 minutes.

To make the meringue base, whisk the egg whites until stiff. With the beaters running, carefully pour the sugar mixture onto the egg white, whisking until thick. In another bowl, softly whip the cream, then gently fold in the liqueur, plum pulp, biscuits, and the meringue. Pour the mixture into an 8”x12” glass or ceramic pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for a few hours until set. To serve, remove from the freezer 5 minutes before scooping into balls.

 

*Soft Amaretti Cookies

4½ oz. blanched almonds (1 cup)
3½ oz. granulated sugar (½ cup)
zest half lemon, finely grated
1 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
extra granulated sugar, for rolling

Heat the oven to 325°F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Grind the almonds and sugar to a very fine powder in a food processor. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and almond extract . Add the egg white a bit at a time to make a moist dough.

Roll scant tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll in granulated sugar to coat before placing on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown in color.

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