Friday, June 29, 2012

Semi what??

I have been ignoring my blog for a VERY long time.  Almost 3 months, to be exact.  You may be wondering what the hell happened to me.  Well, nothing tremendously earth shattering, just life, I guess.  It has been three months of work stress, job hunting, job landing (a GREAT new, BETTER job!!), visiting family, and sweating in the oppressive summer heat!!  To make a long story short, I'm re-inventing myself.  I have a new job that starts tomorrow, I adopted a wonderful, loving dog from my sister, and moving forward in my life I'm going to dedicate more time to my physical and  mental well-being.  Sounds easy enough, right?

So, back to the blog.  It has been way too long since I've posted.  We've had record-breaking heat in Denver so the last thing I've wanted to do is turn on the oven.  Instead I made a frozen pie!  A semifreddo pie, to be exact.  Semifreddo is a "half frozen" Italian mousse.  It is usually frozen in some kind of loaf pan or other shape and served in slices.  I used to love making semifreddo when I was a pastry chef and hadn't made it in years.  The possibilities are pretty endless with semifreddo, you can flavor the mousse however you like or fold in whatever kinds of ingredients that strike your fancy.  While I was visiting friends and family in California I picked up a flat of fresh strawberries.  As soon as I got home I froze some for later use (pie!) and made the rest into jam.  One batch of jam was a little thinner than the other, I think because I lost track while measuring the sugar and probably ended up with an extra cup.  Or two.  No matter, the jam is delicious and I thought it would be perfect for a summery semifreddo pie.  You'll be seeing more of my friend freddo over the summer, don't you worry.

If you have a potluck or BBQ to attend this summer, think about bringing this delicious, frozen pie that is easy to put together and won't heat up your house!

Strawberry Semifreddo Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup strawberry jam
3 egg whites (reserve yolks for another use)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar

Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Add the strawberry jam and  whip again to evenly distribute the jam and break up the chunks.  Scrape this mixture into a clean bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.  Wash out the bowl and mixer.  Add the egg whites into the clean bowl along with the salt.  Whip on high speed until the mixture is thick and foamy.  With the mixer still running, add the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time.  Whip until the whites are shiny and hold stiff peaks.  Fold the whites into the strawberry mixture, being careful not the over-mix and deflate the mousse.  Pile the mousse into the prepared crust and smooth the top.  Very gently press plastic wrap onto the surface of the pie and place in the freezer for at least 8 hours, or overnight.  To serve, garnish with softly whipped cream and fresh strawberries, if desired.

The whipped cream and strawberry jam mixture. 

Whipped egg whites hold a stiff peak.

Sweet, frozen deliciousness!