Semifreddo Pie with Blueberry Topping

Take the road of indulgence with this semifreddo pie. Although the blueberry is not the prime ingredient here, but the topping really makes it. Semifreddo is Italian version of ice-cream or gelato, and I saw a few ways to make it. I follows the recipe from Nigella’s, which I assumes is perfect for people who wants to eat mousse, without worrying of the raw eggs in it, because the egg is partially cooked over a pan of simmering water.

I am a bit amazed of how this tart resembles with cheesecake, both in term of texture and taste, with less fat in it, hah! This does take some time to make, but you only need to bake the pie shell, the rest in done with a bit of whisking, finally in the fridge.

For the blueberry topping/syrup:

  • 1/3 cup of blueberry,
  • 1/4 cup of honey,

Very easy, just heat this two ingredients in a pan. And it turns into this wonderful colored jam, so beautiful. Pour into sterilized jar, and store in the fridge till you want to use it.

(To sterilize the jar, all you need to do it put the jar, including the cap, to a pot with boiling water. Take it out the moment you wants to fill the syrup in, or else the bacteria will grew back once the jar in cool.)

For the pie crust:

  • 100g of plain flour,
  • 50g of ground almond,
  • 80g of cold butter, cubed,
  • 1 tbsp of plain yogurt,
  • pinch of salt,

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and rub in the butter. Using your fingertip, press the butter into the flour, until it forms yellowish crumble. Don’t work the mixture too much, it’s fine with bit of butter left. Add in the yogurt, and squeeze everything into a dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, and lets chill in the fridge up to 1 hour.

After the dough firms up, place in between two plastic, and roll. This is a really good tip from Rachel Allen: Bake!, because the pastry won’t break up that easily when you rolls, and the plastic holds the fragile pastry when you flips on to the tart tin. Gently press the pastry to stick with the tin, and trim off excess part on the edge.

When you’re done with it, its’ time to bake. Put a sheet of baking parchment onto the crust, and fill to the top with dry bean or rice. This is called blind-baking, and what it does, is to keep the pie crust in shape; also, it prevents a soggy tart if you had wet ingredients in the filling. Bake in 180C oven for 10 minutes with the beans, and another 5 minutes without, to dry the base completely. Take it out from the oven and set aside.

You can watch the video of making shortcrust pastry from Rachel Allen:Bake! here.

For the filling:

  • 1 egg plus one yolk,
  • 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 2 tsp of gelatin,
  • 1 tbsp of rum (optional),
  • lemon zest and juice,
  • 100ml of heavy cream,
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence,
  • 1 tbsp of icing sugar,

Sprinkle gelatin over the rum to soften, or water if you don’t want to use alcohol. Bring a pan with water to boil. Put the bowl over the pan, with sugar and eggs in it. Remember the bowl should not touch with the water surface, only steams.

Whisk the egg up until it doubles in size, the mixture will not turn stiff, but smooth and custard-like. Watch out in this step, the egg could scramble over the heat. Stir in the gelatin, half lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Set aside, and whisk the cream with icing sugar to form soft peak.

Fold the two mixture together, and pour over the cool pie crust. Smooth the top, and this goes into the fridge to chill up to 1 hour. When you’re ready to serve, just smear over the top with this glorious blueberry topping. Keep some back, because I still had one more recipe with this syrup.

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