Ingredients:

Vanilla Bean Semifreddo:

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
  • 4 eggs, separated into yolks and whites

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon corn syrup


Hazelnut Crunch:

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Blueberry Compote:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons port
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Small pinch of salt

This recipe contains: Dairy, Eggs, Nuts

RECIPE

Vanilla Bean Semifreddo with Blueberry Compote and Hazelnut Crunch

Jennifer McCoy

Craft, NYC

A simple semifreddo is taken to the next level in the company of caramelized hazelnuts and blueberry compote.

Yield: 6 servings

Method:

To make the semifreddo, put the heavy cream and vanilla bean seeds in a medium bowl and whip to stiff peaks. Chill the vanilla whipped cream in the refrigerator.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, start mixing the egg yolks on low speed. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, and the honey to soft-ball stage (240ºF) in a small saucepan. Immediately remove the hot sugar mixture from the stovetop and slowly stream it into the yolks while the mixer is running. Increase the mixer speed to high and whip the yolks until they are thick, glossy, and doubled in volume. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Clean the stand mixer bowl and screw it back onto the stand mixer.

Working quickly, start mixing 2 tablespoons of egg whites on low speed in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Meanwhile, cook 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, and the corn syrup to soft-ball stage (240ºF) in a small saucepan. Immediately remove the hot sugar mixture from the stovetop and slowly stream it into the egg whites while the mixer is running. Increase the mixer speed to high and whip the whites until they are thick and glossy. Turn off the mixer and check to see if the whites have cooled to room temperature. If they are still warm, mix for another 30 seconds. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold together the whipped egg yolks and egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in the vanilla whipped cream until it’s evenly incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into six 4-ounce ramekins and freeze until completely solid, about 6 hours to overnight.

To make the hazelnut crunch, preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spread the hazelnuts on a sheet tray and bake until lightly toasted and golden brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and set aside the nuts. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture is light amber in color, about 10 minutes. Quickly remove the pot from the stovetop and whisk in the butter until melted. Quickly add the warm hazelnuts to the pot and give the them a quick stir with a wooden spoon to coat them. Transfer the hazelnuts to a Silpat-lined tray and spread them into single layer. Let cool to room temperature.

Once cool, break the hazelnut brittle in small shards. Place the shards in a food processor and pulse until the texture resembles small pebbles. Sift through it with your hands and remove any extra large pieces. (Anything that is larger than a whole hazelnut should be discarded.) Set the crunch aside.

To make the blueberry compote, bring the blueberries, port, sugar, lemon juice, water, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, and salt to a simmer while stirring frequently. Cook until the fruit breaks down and the liquid thickens slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature to cool. Discard the vanilla bean.

Remove the ramekins from the freezer and dip each one in warm water for 30 seconds to loosen the semifreddo. Run a butter knife around the edge of each semifreddo and invert them onto serving dishes. Garnish with a few spoonfuls of blueberry compote and generously sprinkle with hazelnut crunch.