Saffron & Roasted Elderflower Apricots Semifreddo
Author: 
 
Makes 6½ cup pots
Ingredients
FOR THE ROASTED APRICOTS
  • 2 tablespoons acacia honey
  • 3 tablespoons elderflower cordial/syrup
  • Half a vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 apricots
FOR THE SEMIFREDDO
  • 6-8 saffron strands
  • Half vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup thick full-fat yogurt
  • 2 egg whites
  • ⅛ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Roasted nuts, rose petals and saffron strands, to serve
Instructions
ROASTED APRICOTS
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Combine the honey, the syrup and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and heat them gently, either over a bain-marie or for a few seconds in the microwave. Stir well. The mixture should be runny. Stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Halve the apricots and remove the stone. Line them cut side down on a baking tray (use a metal tray with no baking paper for best caramelization effect) and pour over the syrup.
  4. Broil until soft and caramelized, which should not take long, about 3-5 minutes. The syrup should be bubbly and it should get thicker. If not broiling, make at 200 C˚ / 390 F˚ for a few minutes. Collect the extra syrup in a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3-4 days.
SEMIFREDDO
  1. Combine the saffron, honey and scraped seeds from the vanilla bean and, just like before, heat them to make the honey melt and the saffron release its flavor. Stir well and let sit until slightly cooled, at least 10 minutes.
  2. Blend this mixture with the roasted apricots and half the yogurt with a blender or an immersion blender, and let cool. Fold in the other half of the yogurt. Put the mixture in the freezer to cool it quicker. it is important that the ingredients are cold (but do not freeze them!)
  3. NOTE: You can also blend only half the apricots and keep the other half for serving along with the semifreddo.
  4. When ready, whip the egg whites until they start to set, then add the cream of tartar and half the sugar. Continue whipping, adding the rest of the sugar little by little, until glossy and very stiff. Use fresh egg whites, or they won't whip nicely. If not using eggs, whip 200 ml / ¾ cup + 1 tbsp heavy cream with the sugar until stiff.
  5. Very delicately and using downward-upward circling motions, fold in the cooled yogurt-apricot-honey mixture until fully incorporated.
  6. Distribute the mixture into 6 125 ml capacity cups and freeze until thickened and ready to eat.
  7. When ready, serve the semifreddo with the extra syrup from the apricots. Sprinkle on some roasted nuts (I suggest hazelnuts or pistachios), crushed dried rose petals for the pretty factor, and a saffron strand.
Recipe by Hortus Natural Cooking by Valentina Solfrini at http://hortuscuisine.com/blog/2017/05/31/saffron-roasted-elderflower-apricots-semifreddo-cucinaconzaffy/