Ice Cream
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Blackberry Mascarpone Semifreddo with Port Sauce

Sometimes you discover a great food combination.  Here’s the story behind one of those discoveries.

Several years ago when living in Minnesota, my mom hosted a baby shower for her good friend, Julie.  At the party there was a cheese tray, assorted crackers, and fruit.  Pretty standard.  Quickly all the ladies were buzzing about mascarpone, on a Carr’s whole wheat cracker, with a tart blackberry on top.  Sounds so simple but was so good!  We still talk about that combination and it frequently turns up at parties and get-togethers.  That’s how this combination came to be.

Smooth, mild, creamy cheese.
Tart, fresh blackberries.
Buttery, sweet crackers.
I wanted to take this to another level.

Side note:

Remember that scene in the film Armageddon where Ben Affleck argues that animal crackers are more cookies than crackers?  I feel the same way about Carr’s Whole Wheat Crackers.  Don’t be fooled by the name.  These delicious discs are more crumbly, buttery, sweet biscuits than anything resembling a cracker.

I’m a sucker for anything resembling ice cream, custard, you name it so why not semifreddo?  It hasn’t reached 20° here in Wisconsin in days.  Perfect time to make semifreddo!  Not really but I don’t care.

I don’t have an ice cream maker…yet.  Talk about a point in the semifreddo column! You don’t need one to make this creamy, frozen goodness.  As if you needed another reason to make this dessert, it’s great for parties because all the elements can be made ahead of time.  When you’ve got a table full of people you only need a few moments away to assemble and you’re back in the fun.

Here’s how to do it…

Puree blackberries and push through a fine sieve to remove seeds.

Make a sauce with port, blackberry jam, and sugar.

Whisk mascarpone, cream, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.

Fold in chopped dark chocolate.

Drizzle in some blackberry puree and loosely fold in to leave some rich purple ribbons streaking through the cheese mixture.

Spread into a loaf pan and freeze til hardened.

Serve with the cooled sauce and crumbled “crackers”.

Blackberry Mascarpone Semifreddo with Port Sauce

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 c. port
  • 3 tbsp. seedless blackberry jam
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1 c. mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4-6 Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Bring the port, jam, and sugar to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce sauce by a third.
  2. While sauce is boiling, puree the blackberries in a blender or with an immersion blender. Press puree through a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Reserve the smooth puree.
  3. When sauce has reduced, remove from the heat and add in all the smooth puree but reserve 3 tbsp. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk mascarpone, cream, powdered sugar, and salt in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold in the chocolate. Drizzle the reserved 3 tbsp. fruit puree over the mixture and fold gently (I like seeing pretty purple ribbons rather completely mixing in).
  6. Spread into a 5x9 loaf pan and freeze until chilled through and "scoopable", at least 50 min. Pull out 5-10 minutes before serving to soften a bit.
  7. Serve the semifreddo with a drizzle of the port sauce and the crumbled crackers on top.
http://www.pbpickles.com/2012/02/blackberry-mascarpone-semifreddo-with-port-sauce/

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Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

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