Sweet Corn Semifreddo Dessert

Attention all dessert lovers: stock up on the ingredients for this recipe, close the blinds, and make two of these confections. You’ll want to hide one in the freezer so that you can surreptitiously slice off a bit when your sweet tooth strikes. Once that’s taken care of, throw open the drapes and call in the family to share the other one because Rafe strikes gold with this recipe: the layers of naturally sweet corn, gooey caramel, crisp honeycomb candy … all resting atop the gingerbread crust … will dazzle and please all concerned.

SWEET CORN SEMIFREDDO RECIPE WITH GINGERSNAP CRUST, HONEYCOMB CANDY, CARAMEL DRIZZLE & WHIPPED CREAM

For the semifreddo:

2 cups cream

4 eggs, separated

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 cups sweet corn kernels, pureed with a little water

1.     Whip cream until soft peaks form and set aside in refrigerator.

2.     Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water; bring water to a boil. Rest a metal bowl on the rim of the pot.

3.     Combine egg yolks with ½ cup sugar and whisk in the bowl, tempering yolks until thick and lighter in color, about double in volume. Remove from heat. Cover with plastic and set aside.

4.     In another metal bowl, combine ¼ cup of sugar with whites and whisk over simmering water until light and fluffy; whisk until thick and silky, about 5 minutes or less. Set aside to cool.

5.     Gently fold corn puree with whipped cream until combined and set aside; gently fold egg yolk and white mixtures together until combined; add both mixtures folding gently until combined.

6.     Pour over pie crust and freeze at least overnight or 3 days ahead before serving.

7.     Add garnishes before serving and allow semifreddo to sit at room temperature at least 10-15 minutes before serving; option to serve crust as a topping instead if no pie mold is available: just bake like streusel and use as topping.

For the gingersnap pie crust:

1 bag store-bought gingersnaps (food-processed is fine)

3 tbsp melted butter

½ cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 tbsp flour

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.     Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until combined, like coarse sand.

3.     Press onto pie mold or tart pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set; let cool and set before using. Refrigerate or freeze for at least 30 minutes.

For the honeycomb candy:

40 g honey

1/3 cup corn syrup or glucose

200 g sugar

2 ½ tbsp water

1 tbsp baking soda, sifted

1.     Combine all ingredients except baking soda and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer and cook until sugar caramelizes to light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

2.     Turn off the heat and whisk in baking soda; be careful as it will quickly fizz out and bubble, so work fast to transfer onto a prepared tray.

3.     Let cool and break when cold. Store in airtight containers.

For the caramel drizzle:

1 cup sugar

¼ cup water

6 tbsp unsalted butter

½ cup cream

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

1.     Combine sugar and water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a steady bubble. Do not mix but swirl gently if needed and adjust position of the pot. Cook until caramelized and deep golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

2.     Add butter until melted; be careful as it will rapidly boil and could overflow or burn; keep whisking and add cream until combined.

3.     Remove from heat and whisk vanilla and pinch of salt, let cool before serving or to allow to thicken.

For the whipped cream:

1 cup cream

2 tbsp sugar

Whisk until soft peaks form.

RECIPE AND STYLING BY RAFE VENCIO / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE BRYCE

Try some of TABLE’s grilled treats as preambles to this dessert:

Grilled Porch Chops with Grilled Pineapple

Skirt Steak and Scallion Salsa

Faith in BBQ

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