Buzzing around the farmer’s market, I can’t help but be amused by the names of fruit/vegetable/root varieties written in sharpie at some of the stands. I am lucky enough to have been able to ritualize going to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays to scout out the “Stumps of the Earth”, “Belles of Georgia”, “Yellow Finns”, “Green Zebras”, “Garden Annies”, and there they were, the “White Ladies”. I know that it can sound quite hyperbolic when I say I could smell these Ladies, these beautiful blushing pink peaches from down the road, but with the right amount of sun and the right ocean breeze…it is not too far fetched of an idea. I bought five of them, and one disappeared on the way home somewhere between my daughter and I, and the four remaining sat beautifully perched on my counter top for a few days until I connected the dots. Hot weather+peaches+sweet tooth= semifreddo. I love making semifreddo, it is the rustic, no fuss, alternative to making ice cream. No special equipment, all you need is a bowl, some heat, cream, fresh fruit, and some elbow grease. I made this thinking about one particular little peach…you know who you are…well at least your mama does…and you are so lucky for that, she‘s a good one, and I can’t wait to meet you this winter and we can dream about summer peaches.
White Lady peach semifreddo…
4-5 peaches, diced
juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
dash of vanilla
pinch of salt
sweet basil sauce…
1 large handful of basil
1 tbs agave nectar
1/4 cup water (add more as necessary)
*or you can just do a simple syrup
Oil a standard loaf pan, and line with parchment paper, leaving a couple inches of overhang on all sides. This will help you pull out the semifreddo once it is chilled.
In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream until you form stiff peaks, adding sugar slowly. Set aside.
Dice peaches and remove pits. Place in food processor with the lemon juice and puree. *Note*: I like to leave the skin on the peaches as it adds a beautiful rose color and some texture to the semifreddo, but you can always pass the puree through a sieve. Add a pinch of kosher salt and puree for another few seconds.
In a metal bowl, over a double boiler, begin gently heating the egg yolks whisking vigorously for 3-4 minutes. They should turn a softer yellow and expand in volume. Add the vanilla and whisk for another minute or so. Take off the heat and whisk until the bowl comes back to room temperature.
Gently fold the egg yolks into the whipped cream. Then gently fold in the peach puree into the whipped cream mixture, do not over mix. Then pour into the lined loaf pan and place in the freezer overnight, or at least 8 hours. Slice and serve.
Serve with a sweet basil sauce over the top or just basil leaves.
Eat together, toast to each other, and share!