Summer is well under way and, after 2 weeks offline, it's time to catch up with my recipes! And my favourite blogs...David Lebovitz just published a tasty compilation of ice cream delights from around the blogosphere.
I have here a semifreddo - a half-frozen Italian ice cream, as creamy and rich as ice cream but soft. To balance the softness of this vanilla semifreddo, I folded in pine nut pralines for sweetness and crunch. The other advantage of this recipe is that you don't need an icecream maker to freeze the mixture. The air trapped in the whipped cream and the meringue during the whisking processes helps the ice cream freeze without hardening. Just what you need to perfect scoops.
This icecream is quite simple to make. I made the pine nut pralines first so that they cooled, starting with a caramel into which I stirred roasted pine nuts. I spread the hot caramel-nut mixture onto a greased baking sheet and let the brittle cool. I separated the eggs and beat the yolks with sugar and Madagascar vanilla. I whipped the cream and stirred it into the yolk mixture. I whisked the whites into a meringue, which I folded into the yolk mixture. I pulverised and stirred half the pralines into the vanilla cream and saved the rest to top the scoops.
Adapted from this book:
Ingredients for about 1 liter:
1 cup whipping cream
4 large eggs
¼ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
For the pralines:
1 cup pine nuts
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Toast the pine nuts for 8 mins or until golden.
3. Let cool.
4. In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil over medium high heat.
5. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter.
6. Let boil for 5 mins until the caramel turns golden.
7. Stir in the cooled pine nuts and let simmer until the caramel browns.
8. Remove from heat and spread over the greased baking sheet using a spatula.
9. Let the pralines cool to room temperature.
10. Pulverise half of the pralines using a food processor and coarsely break the other half into pieces.
11. Separate the eggs.
12. In a bowl, beat together egg whites and salt until firm.
13. In another bowl, mix together the egg yolks with the vanilla and the sugar until light yellow.
14. In a third bowl, whip the cream into soft peaks.
15. Mix cream and yolks.
16. Gently fold the whites and the praline powder into the yolk mixture.
17. Transfer into a plastic container and freeze for at least 3 hours.