The rhubarb in my garden never seems to stop producing, so as the leaves turn, because I can't stand seeing it wasted I cast around for ways of using it up. This way is my favourite.
Semifreddo is Italian for half frozen. The sharp flavour of rhubarb is a stunning companion to the sweet creaminess of this semifreddo. Often in Italy it is poured into a cake pan and frozen and served as an ice cream cake. It can also be served rolled like regular ice cream.
Makes 1 standard loaf pan (insert diameter)
Takes: 30 minutes, plus four hours freezing time.
300g rhubarb, chopped
2 tbsp liquid honey
½ tsp natural pink food colouring (optional)
85g caster sugar
1 cup cream
Place the rhubarb in a small saucepan with the honey and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Create a double boiler by adding water to the bottom of a saucepan and placing a large heatproof bowl on top. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and add the eggs and sugar into the bowl. Use electric beaters to whisk until warm, thick and pale. This will take around 8-10 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, this should take 5-6 minutes.
In a clean bowl with clean beaters beat the cream until it is the same consistency as the egg mix.
Fold the two mixtures together, folding in half of the prepared rhubarb and pour into a loaf pan that has been lined with cooking paper, plastic wrap or foil.
Freeze for four hours until firm.
Serve sliced with the reserved rhubarb compote
Extra Notes for the True Food Geek (like me)...
∆ Semifreddo is a type of ice cream, it generally contains egg yolks or as in this instance both the yolk and the white from the egg. A parfait uses only the egg whites.
∆ In summer when the berries arrive or autumn when stone fruit is plentiful, substitute 150g of purred or fresh of any of your favourites or the full 300g if it is suitable for a compote sauce as well.
∆ All the beating and whipping in this recipe make for lovely light frozen dessert without the need for an ice cream maker.
∆ Semifreddo is smooth because the proteins and emulsifiers in the egg yolks help to keep the ice crystals small when the mixture freezes.