The height of good taste – Black and blue semifreddo with toasted oat crumble

We teamed up with the wonderful Ashley Rodriguez from Not Without Salt, a blog where she shares her passion for everything salty, sweet and savoury. For Ashley good food is simple, seasonal and delicious, so we asked her to share one of her favourite summer berry desserts.

For the semifreddo:
100g (½ cup) + 2 tablespoons sugar
200g (2 cups) blueberries
200g (2 cups) blackberries
zest and juice from 1 lemon
4 eggs
230ml (1 cup) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the oat crumble:
227g (1 cup) flour
20g (¼ cup) oats
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces

For the semifreddo, lightly spray a loaf pan with pan spray and line it with plastic wrap. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat add ½ cup sugar in an even layer. Watch it closely as it melts and caramelises. Carefully stir the sugar as the edges start to melt. Continue to caramelise until all of the sugar is melted. It should be a deep copper colour and will smoke a bit. If some of the sugar starts to get too dark you can remove the pan from the heat, give it a stir and then continue to cook.

Add 1 cup of each of the blueberries and the blackberries. This will make the caramel seize and harden. Reduce the heat to low and cook until all of the caramel has once again melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining berries. Set this aside to cool.

In the bowl of a mixer whisk the 4 eggs until they lighten. On medium high speed slowly pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue to whip until very light, frothy and about tripled in volume. 

Whip the cream with the vanilla seeds or extract to soft peaks. Add the slightly cooled berry caramel mixture to the cream and mix using the whisk. Add the eggs and mix, again with the whisk, until just combined. Take care not to knock too much of the air out. Add this to the prepared loaf pan and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

Then for the crumble preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and sugar, Add the butter and blend until the mixture holds in small clumps when squeezed. Add the crumble to the baking sheet. Pinch together some of the dough so there are some large pieces in there too.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve the semifreddo on a bed of crumble and cap with whipped cream if you’d like.

Ashley, her husband and her three children recently stayed with us in London, and you can see her tips on family-friendly city exploration here, or take a look at our wonderful family homes in London here.