On July fourth weekend, some of my friends and I piled into our cars and sat through stop-and-go traffic on a windy and woodsy, two-lane road over the Santa Cruz Mountains and out to the coast. It was traffic on this stretch of highway as I've never seen it before--bumper to bumper-- everyone in a rush to the ocean and the beach. But we had slightly different plans. We were in a rush, too, but we were in a rush to get to the coastal olallieberry fields, which sit on the cliffs that run right alongside the Pacific Ocean. Tis the season of the olallieberry harvest!
Long time readers of this blog will already know that I am a self-proclaimed (and proud) olallieberry addict. (Olallieberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries several generations down.) I hoard olallieberries. Come season, I stuff pounds upon pounds of fresh olallieberries into the freezer (much to the dismay of my former roommate--but no, that is not the reason she's now a former roommate), just so that I can have olallieberries all year 'round, whenever I very well please. Trust me, if you ever get your hands on these sweet, not-so-seedy berries, you should hoard some in your freezer, too.
[click on photo for larger image]
So here I am now, with a fresh new batch of frozen olallieberries, and it's time to use up and clean out what's left of last year's stash in the form of an olallieberry semifreddo. This semifreddo is so creamy and rich, so packed with crushed olallieberries that it turns wonderfully bright pink, and oh so cold--perfect for the warm summer afternoons when the beach is just a little too far away. It's also quick to whip up (hehe--literally!), since no ice cream machine churning is necessary--just make and freeze and wait. The waiting is the hardest part. I think I ate a good portion of the cream before it even made it into the freezer.
I have so many more plans for my little olallieberries, sleeping in the freezer. Like the almond cakes that are baking in the oven right now, with olallieberries nestled inside. But if you can't find olallieberries, blackberries could do just as nicely. Or loganberries (a predecessor to olallies), or marionberries (I hear those are fantastic). Heck, any berries, really. Bonus points if you pick them yourself!
Read on for recipe....
adapted from Donna Hay Magazine
makes enough for 6+, depending on portion size
2 egg yolks
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup (200 gr) sugar
500 gr frozen olallieberries, slightly thawed with juices
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1. In a double boiler over a pan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, additional egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sugar. Continue to whisk for 5-7 minutes until heated, pale, and very thick. Remove from heat and whisk briefly to cool.
2. Lightly crush the olallieberries with a whisk. Fold the crushed berries and their juices into the egg mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip. Fold the olallieberry and egg mixture into the cream just until combined. Spoon into individual serving dishes and freeze until solid.
Note: I highly recommended using frozen berries because the freezing and thawing process causes them to release their juices.
Note: If you can't find olallieberries, blackberries, raspberries, marionberries, etc. would all work very well in this recipe.