Roasted Rhubarb with Creme Fraiche Semifreddo

Roasted Rhubarb with Creme Fraiche Semifreddo

  • Servings: 6
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3 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar, separated
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup creme fraiche (can be omitted if you don't have, or increased for a more pronounced flavor, but this small amount works quite well)

Roasted Rhubarb:
1 lb rhubarb, cut in 2" lengths
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean (from making semifreddo)


Line a 9" loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment (if using plastic wrap, you can try to smooth out any wrinkles that will imprint themselves on the finished semifreddo, but I usually fail at that task). Set aside.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a large mixer, and beat, gradually increasing the speed to high and sprinkling in 1/3 cup of the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form, then transfer to another bowl (it can be a small one) and set aside.

Add the cream to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Place the reserved egg yolks in the mixing bowl, and add the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean (reserve the pod for the roasted rhubarb), vanilla extract, and reserved sugar. Beat until the mixture has lightened in color and thickened and doubled in volume, ~3 minutes. Whisk in the creme fraiche until it is just combined.

Take the yolk mixture, and gently fold it into the bowl of whipped cream. Add the beaten egg whites, and fold in in a few additions, until there are no streaks left, taking care not to deflate the mixture. Pour it into the prepared loaf pan, and place in the freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.

When the semifreddo is ready, prepare the roasted rhubarb.

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the rhubarb, wine, sugar, and left-over half of the vanilla bean in an oven-proof pan (I used an 8" square casserole dish, which worked perfectly). Stir to evenly distribute ingredients. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about half an hour, turning the rhubarb once (gently!), until the rhubarb is totally tender but hasn't lost its shape. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly (or fully, depending upon your taste). Discard the vanilla bean.

To serve, cut thick slices of the semifreddo, and serve topped with the roasted rhubarb and its syrupy juices.