this will do – sparkling peach semifreddo (gluten-free)

by hungryrabbit on August 17, 2012

Sparkling Peach Semifreddo (gluten-free)

Love maybe constant, but so is work. M and I have been incredibly busy with this summer and could not figure out how to celebrate our anniversary on the exact date. As a couple, we decided that we could work around this obstacle and toast our relationship when we could be together without distraction.

On our first date 15 years ago, M ordered a “fresh, homemade” lemonade in a cafe that turned out to be some kind of goo made from a sugary concentrate. I teased him about toasting our day with another round–he didn’t go for that idea. So last weekend, we went to a small but exquisite Japanese restaurant in the East Village for our belated celebration. (Sake, no lemonade.) Dinner was lovely but dessert was even better–because I made it for us.

This dessert says both summer and celebration–champagne semifreddo brings festive decadence, while the layer of summer best’s peach purée adds a vibrant freshness. To gild the lily, a healthy serving of boozy caramelized peaches crown the dish. This was a great ending to our dinner–maybe next year we’ll have time for a more elaborate celebration.

Sparkling Peach Semifreddo

recipe adapted from Emily Luchetti
yield: 8 servings


Champagne Semifreddo
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup champagne
1 cup heavy cream

Peach Pureé
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 pound peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of fine sea salt

Caramelized Rum Peach Topping
1/4 cup (2 ounces) brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds peaches, peeled and cut into thick wedges
2 tablespoon dark rum

Directions for Semifreddo

1. Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar and a pinch of the salt in medium heatproof bowl. Add champagne; cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into mixture, whisk to combine. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisk continuously until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from heat and place in an ice bath; cool to room temperature.

2. Place heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly add remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the cooled champagne mixture.

3. Spray a 4-1/2 x 8-1/2 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap into the corners of the pan. Gently spread half of the champagne cream into the loaf pan, smooth top with small off-set spatula. Place the pan in the freezer, about 1 hour. Refrigerate the remaining champagne cream.

Directions for Peach Pureé

1. Combine the water, sugar, peaches in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer and sugar has dissolved, about 10- 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool mixture to room temperature. (It can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.)

2. Place mixture in a food processor or blender, add lemon juice, salt and pureed. Strain the purée through a medium holed sieve. Spread strained purée evenly into the loaf pan over the frozen champagne cream. Freeze  until firm, about 45 minutes. Spread the remaining champagne cream on top. Freeze the semifreddo for several hours until hard. It can be made several days in advance.

Direction for Caramelized Peaches

1. Melt butter in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat, sprinkle brown sugar and stir to combine. Cook until sugar starts to bubble and turn slightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add peaches and continue to cook until peaches are softened and liquid becomes syrupy, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in rum and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


1. Remove semifreddo from freezer and invert the loaf pan onto a cutting board. Run a wet hot towel over the pan. Remove the pan. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Slice the semifreddo and place on a plate. Spoon caramelized peaches over the top and serve.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

thelittleloaf August 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

This is absolutely beautiful! What a stunning dessert.

Amy @ fragrantvanillacake August 17, 2012 at 8:12 am

This semifreddo is so beautiful! Love all of the flavors and colors you have going on here, there is something special about all of your desserts! Happy Belated Anniversary :)!

Jackie Gordon Singing Chef August 17, 2012 at 8:32 am

LOOKS DELISH! Fifteen years is a milestone… Congratulations to one of my favorite couples!!!! Put a ring on it already M!

Heather August 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

This is beautiful! Congrats on so many years together – here’s to many more *toasts

Bunkycooks August 17, 2012 at 8:50 am

That is a gorgeous dessert! Happy Anniversary to you both!

foodwanderings August 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

Happy goo free anniversary. Congrats on this milestone Ken.

Sweetsugarbelle August 17, 2012 at 9:56 am

Ken…I love your blog so much. I often wish you could post more often, but each treat is such perfection it makes the wait easier. Instagram keeps me happy in the middle times! I love “eating” with you!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 17, 2012 at 10:22 am

Happy anniversary to you and M… This looks like the perfect way to celebrate to me. The date isn’t so important. I think it’s much more important to celebrate when you have the time to spend together! And, when you have the time to make such a fabulous dessert :)

Barbara | Creative Culinary August 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Congratulations to both of you Ken and your celebration sounds about perfect to me especially with this dessert. Wow…gorgeous and just sounds divine to boot.

Happy Anniversary!

Russell van Kraayenburg August 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

This looks yummmmyyy! And I love that little stripe down the middle. Cute! And what a cute celebration post. Happy anniversary!

Wendy Read August 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Just a gorgeous dessert Ken! Congrats on your anniversary and have many, many more happy ones.

Colette August 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Is that ground pistachio sprinkled on top?

Liren August 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm

This looks divine, Ken, and the perfect dessert with which to celebrate a sweet milestone. Happy Anniversary to you and M!

merry jennifer August 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

Happy anniversary to you and M! I love that you made the dessert for your amazing dinner out – such a special thing. And 15 years is such a big deal. I should know – we hit ours in June. :)

hungryrabbit August 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm


hungryrabbit August 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thanks MJ. I’m sure you will plan the celebration much better than we did. -Ken

hungryrabbit August 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thanks Liren.

hungryrabbit August 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Thank you Wendy.

hungryrabbit August 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks Callye for your kind words. xoxo Ken

Brian August 21, 2012 at 6:21 am

15 years!?!?! Happy Anniversary!

This dessert is the perfect way to celebrate (better than that lemonade “goo”… Bleh!).

Kiran @ August 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Congrats on your milestones and a very Happy Anniversary to you and M!

This dessert is the best way to “toast” any celebration :)

Jamie August 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

Oh yes, my kind of dessert! I have been on a frozen treat with prosecco kick, and I have actually been planning on making a semifreddo but never thought to add bubbly. Yours is gorgeous!

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