Apples and "Honey" Semifreddo
1 Pound Apples (About 2 Fuji), Peeled, Cored, and Roughly Chopped
2 Tablespoons Finely Diced Candied Ginger
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Cashews, Soaked
1 6-Ounce Container Vanilla Soy or Coconut Yogurt
1/2 Cup Honey-Flavored Agave, or Amber Agave
1 Tablespoon Limoncello, Apple Brandy, or Vodka
1/2 Vanilla Bean, Split and Scraped, or 1 Teaspoon Extract
Additional Honey-Flavored Agave
Caramelized Almonds, Roughly Chopped
In a medium skillet, toss all of your ingredients for the apple compote together, and cook over medium-low heat for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until the apples are tender and there's no excess liquid remaining at the bottom of the pan. The delicious autumnal smell will be an indication that you're doing something right! Just try not to eat all of the apples before you get them into the semifreddo. Let cool completely before proceeding.
To make the base, begin by whipping up your carton of creme as the box instructs, and set aside. Place your nuts and non-dairy yogurt in a blender or food processor, and puree on the highest setting. A VitaMix is recommended here for optimal smoothness, but you can certainly still do without. Just be patient, as it may take up to 10 minutes for the average food processor or blender to completely puree the cashews. Once completely smooth, add in the "honey," liqueur of choice, and vanilla bean seeds. Blend to combine.
Add about 1/3rd of the cashew mixture to your whipped creme, and with a wide spatula, very gently fold the two together, being careful not to knock too much air out of the creme. Don't fuss too much about streaks yet; Once it's mostly combined, add another 1/3rd of the cashew mix, and fold again. Repeat with the remainder, stirring until the mixture is all one even color. Very gently fold in the cooked and cooled apple compote.
Pour the semifreddo base into either a 9 x 5 loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, or a silicon loaf pan. For individual servings, I like to use jumbo silicon muffin molds. Smooth down the top with a spatula, and place on a level surface in your freeze. Let sit until frozen solid, at least 8 hours or overnight. You can also make this dessert well in advance- Up to a week, in fact! Just make sure you keep it well wrapped and covered so that it doesn't start taking on off-flavors in the freezer.
To serve, simply unmold on a decorative plate, slice, and garnish with a drizzle of "honey" and crushed caramelized almonds as desired.
Serves 10 - 12
©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com