Pluot Semifreddo Ice Cream


Semifreddo means "half frozen" in Italian, which aptly describes this smooth and light ice cream that resembles soft-serve ice cream in texture - but no ice cream maker is required! The technique used here involves gradually adding a hot sugar syrup to beaten egg whites; it's called "Italian meringue." This gives the semifreddo its satiny texture and volume.


1 pound firm pluots (about 5)
2/3 cup Sugar
  juice of 1 lemon
2 large egg whites
  pinch salt
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons Chambord liqueur (optional)


Cut the pluots into quarters, discarding the pits. Place them in a small saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice, and cook over low heat, stirring until the sugar melts. Cover the pan and cook until the fruit is very soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the cover and let the pluots cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and process into a coarse purée. Refrigerate until the mixture is cold.

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a mixer and beat until soft peaks form.

Place the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil without stirring for 3 minutes. Begin beating the egg whites again and immediately pour the hot syrup onto the whites in a thin, steady stream. Beat on high speed until all the syrup is added and the mixture is thick and glossy.

Whip the heavy cream until thick but not stiff. Fold the whipped cream into the egg white mixture, and then fold in the pluot purée and Chambord, if using.

Divide the mixture among glass bowls, goblets, or martini glasses and freeze for at least 5 hours before serving.


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