It’s a bit of a cliff-hanger post today. I’m having people over for lunch tomorrow and prepared the dessert for it last night. Here’s the recipe:
- 450g ripe purple plums, halved and stoned
- 350g caster sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 300ml double cream
- 1 tbsp Disaronno liqueur
- 85g soft amaretti biscuits, roughly broken up*
*I used both soft and crunchy biscuits as I liked the idea of some added texture
It’s actually a recipe for 8 and I’ve got 10 people coming so I just doubled the quantities.
- Line a 30 x 20cm tray with cling film.
- Put the plums in a pan with 2 tbsp water and 110g of the sugar. Cover with a lid and stew over a medium heat for 10 mins until soft. Allow to cool slightly, then blitz with a hand blender. Pass through a sieve to remove the plum skins. Allow to cool..
[I didn’t sieve the mixture as I thought the colour might be deeper that way]
- Put the remaining sugar in a pan with 150ml water, and dissolve over a low heat. Boil for 5 mins or until the mixture reaches 120C on a cooking thermometer.
- To make the meringue base, whisk the egg whites until stiff. With the beaters running, carefully pour the sugar mixture onto the egg white, whisking until thick. In another bowl, softly whip the cream, then gently fold in the liqueur, plum pulp, biscuits and the meringue. Pour into the tin, cover with cling film and freeze for a few hrs until set. To serve, remove from the freezer 5 mins before scooping into balls.
It was during this last stage that my whisk broke and I got into a bit of a flap.
The picture above doesn’t actually do justice to the chaotic mess the kitchen ended up in. I was initially using a hand whisk and when it snapped I tried using the hand blender instead. Didn’t manage to create much froth but I did a great job of spraying the sticky mixture everywhere.
Before that I’d opened lots of drawers looking for another whisk. It was a frantic search during which most of the contents of the cupboards got tipped out. Never found that elusive second whisk. By this stage there was stuff everywhere, even the floor was sticky to walk on.
All I managed to whisk up was about half a cup of floppy meringue sitting on top of the sweet murky liquid. So I scooped it up and put it in half the mixture. The other half went into the freezer without.
What I made is now frozen through and looks nice enough. Will test it prior to serving. If it’s ok my guests will get to try it and I’ll post a picture of the results.
If not, I’ll let them eat cake (shop-bought)
BBCGoodFood recipe from here Plum & Amaretti Semifreddo
2kg chopped stoned plums
200g soft brown sugar
one vanilla pod
- Put all the ingredients in a saucepan. Don’t add water. Slit the vanilla pod open and remove seeds with knife tip. Put both seeds and pod in. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool, remove vanilla pod, drain off some of the excess liquid, and put in containers. Either keep it in the fridge if you’re going to use it within the next few days or freeze for later use.
I did also make the ginger and lemon one below, but much prefer this vanilla version.
Ginger & Lemon
2kg chopped stoned plums
200g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
- Put all the ingredients in a saucepan. I put the juice of a whole lemon in but I think this may have been too much. Initially only added 200g caster sugar but on tasting it was quite bitter so I added 100g soft brown sugar. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool, drain off some of the excess liquid, and put in containers.
Made in a breadmaker. I used 500g ciabatta flour as that’s all I had in the cupboard, 350ml water instead of the suggested 360ml, and sunflower oil instead of olive oil.
To that I added 100g plum jam and six stoned and finely diced plums.
Although I opted for the ‘dark crust’ setting it still came out a bit doughy. Perfect once toasted though.