Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Roasted Plumcot Semifreddo with a Cinnamon Oat Crumble & ScottishShortbread Bits, Plus a Giveaway

Last summer I found myself at a small farmer's market stand in Glenn Oaks, California after a day of raspberry picking. There I purchased an unknown but delicious variety of deep red plums, which I used to make this jam. I have not encountered that variety of plum since, but have kept my eyes peeled for them for over a year. Last weekend I spotted a look-a-like at Whole Foods, which they had labeled as a Plumcot. They were small and dark and slightly fuzzy on the outside, much like an apricot in shape and texture but plum-like in color. They looked quite different from the fruits labeled Pluots, which were larger, more plum-shaped, and with the signature shiny plum skin. So, what's the real difference between a plumcot and a pluot? I was pretty confused until I read this article, which basically explains that plumcots are an even 50/50 blend of plums and apricots, while pluots are a plum-apricot blend whose lineage is more plum than apricot, the amount of plum make up varies with different varieties, but is usually about 60-75% plum and 40-25% apricot.

So I ended up buying a pound of the plumcots in hopes that they would be as tasty as the plums I'd had last summer. I roasted them before incorporating them into a semifreddo with some cinnamon oat crumbles and Walkers shortbread bits. This was my first time making a semifreddo, and it was surprisingly simple to make. A semifreddo is basically an ice cream log, but instead of freezing straight custard like most ice creams, the custard is folded into whipped cream and the resulting mixture is frozen in a pan (no need for a bulky ice cream machine, huzzah!), which creates an incredible airy, smooth, and sliceable ice cream. I used turbinado sugar in the custard which gave it a warm and caramelized flavor, and when paired with the roasted plumcots, buttery cinnamon oat crumble, and shortbread cookie pieces, it tastes exactly like a slice of plum pie with a shortbread crumb topping in ice cream-form. This is honestly my favorite thing I've ever made. The textures, the flavors, the warmth and coolness of the dish, everything about it was just as it should be.

And if you happened to notice the adorable shape of the shortbread cookies, Walkers Shortbread is pairing up with the APSCA for the second year in a row (last year they raised over $31,000 for them) and this year they've already pledged to donate a minimum of $50,000 to the ASPCA. On top of that, Walkers shortbread is currently running a promotion between June 17th and June 28th where they will donate an extra dollar to the ASPCA if you use the code ACSCOTTIES when purchasing one of their scottie dog cookies or their scottie dog tin. I'm a longtime animal lover and am super excited about this collaboration, because 1) the ASPCA does a stand-up job of helping animals in need, and 2) because all guilt about cookie-eating is eliminated. And they've also been kind enough to offer up a giveaway for one of their delicious Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread Scottie Dog Tins! To enter the giveaway, please use rafflecopter below. The giveaway is only open to residents of the United States and will end at midnight PST on July 3rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Roasted Plumcots

5 plumcots (can substitute pluots), pitted and halved
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Oat Crumble

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 and 3/4 cups whipping cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed Walkers pure butter shortbread cookies

Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch baking pan with plastic wrap, making sure you have a good few inches hanging over the sides. Set aside. The plumcots and the cinnamon oat crumble require the same baking temperature, so they can be baked at the same time. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the plumcot halves on a baking sheet, skin-side down. Sprinkle them with the brown sugar and cinnamon and rub it into the exposed flesh. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into roughly 1/2 inch pieces.

In a small bowl, mix together all of the cinnamon oat crumble ingredients until a sticky paste forms. Spread it out in a 1/2 inch thick layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely before breaking the hardened sheet into roughly 1/2 inch sized pieces.

To make the semifreddo, beat the whipping cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment at medium high speed until whipped cream forms. Set aside. In the top of a double boiler, heat the egg yolks and turbinado sugar over simmering water, whisking the mixture constantly. Continue doing this until the egg yolks thicken considerably and the sugar has melted slightly.

Quickly scoop the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a whisk attachment and beat at medium high speed until the mixtures thickens considerable and looks like wet taffy (like in the photo above). Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and scoop the whipped cream into the center of the bowl on top of the custard. Fold the whipped cream into the custard until they are completely combined. Add the shortbread bits, cinnamon oat crumble, and roasted plumcots and fold gently until they're just evenly distributed.

Pour the mixture into the lined loaf pan and smooth the top. Place on an even surface in your freezer and freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours.  Once frozen, remove from the freezer and flip the pan upside down onto the serving platter. If it doesn't come out right away give it a few minutes and press the sides of the pan with your warm hands, the sides will melt a bit and the semifreddo will eventually fall out of the pan. Slice and serve immediately. Freeze any leftovers.


  1. I LOVE Pluots!!! I had never even heard of a plumcot! Today I was at TJs (San Diego) and saw an anglecot or something like that? Cross between a white peach and an apricot I believe the sign said. Now I wish I had picked some up. I can relate to your farm stand story...sometimes you never see the same fruit again!

    Fave frozen treat...I made ice cream last week & posted about it. And also made some for my next cookbook that's to die for :)

  2. Yum, this looks awesome! I've never done a semifreddo, but my fav frozen treat is probably a chocolate ice cream I do that tastes JUST like a Wendy's frosty! Yum. :)

  3. This looks absolutely amazing, what beautiful photographs! I've never heard of a plum mixed with an apricot before but it sounds awesome

  4. um, BEAUTIFUL! I've never heard of a plumcot, but considering my love for plums and apricots I know I'd love it!

  5. My favorite frozen treat is probably frozen coffee cheesecake, if I had the recipe to hand I would post it!

  6. Plumcots, pluots...whoa. All kinds of crazy fruit hybrids out there, huh? As always, your recipes render me speechless. And such gorgeous styling! What a beautiful dessert you've made! I am presently madly in love with my big, bulky ice cream machine, but I dig the simplicity of a semifreddo. And Walkers!! I studied in Scotland one summer in college and ate boatloads of their biscuits. Oh, the memories :)

  7. My favorite frozen treat is the pineapple sorbet that you can pretty much only find in Hawaii (at the Dole plantation, I think - it's been a while ;) It's the only thing I've found that just tastes like fresh pineapple, and it is so darn refreshing on a hot day!

  8. peach ice cream.

    fruitcrmble AT Comcast DOT

  9. Frozen treat - a frozen mudslide!

  10. I love coffee ice cream.

  11. Leslie:
    homemade vanilla bean ice cream

  12. semifreddo is so classy, i feel like i shouldn't even be allowed to whisper its name. :)

  13. Brace yourself, I'm about to admit something super dumb. I honestly didn't really understand what semifreddo was until I read this post. I mean, I've seen pictures of it a number of times, and I think the thing that's gone through my head has been, "hmmmm, that looks like a block of weird custard with some stuff suspended in it." (I'm going to blame this immediate aversion on my fear of that ambrosia jello salad stuff, which HORRIFIED me as a child, especially since it seemed to make regular appearances at family gatherings back in the early '90s.) Obviously I'd never bothered to read anything about semifreddo before, because if I had, I'd know that it was basically just like a big airy ice cream cake with a whole bunch of awesomeness it in! Whaaaa?? And your description makes it sound beyond amazing. (Your favorite thing you've ever made!!) I must make it, asap. :)

  14. Peach ice cream is my favorite frozen treat, but Dilly Bars from the Dairy Queen are a close second.

  15. If you say this is one of the best desserts you've ever made...then wow, I'm definitely putting it straight to the top of my list!

  16. How pretty is this?? I've never made a semifreddo, but think this would be perfect for a party dessert!


  17. What a treat! This summer I am trying my hands with any kind of frozen treat I come across and this has to me made too. No machine, and so simple to make. LOVE IT!

  18. Gelato is my favorite, but I can't get it easily. So my favorite is one scoop each of cinnamon, chocolate & coffee ice creams with crushed pretzel on top. No wait, a cinnamon chocolate shake is my favorite. No, maybe a brownie sundae with peppermint ice cream & hot fudge all over it. Yeah, that.

  19. wow, I have never had plum semifreddo. I loved that crumble! This semifreddo is looking so tempting...good work on the photos too!

  20. I love ice cream. Just about any flavor. Chocolate Chip is my childhood favorite.


  21. This is so beautiful I can hardly stand it! Love the jeweled mosaic of fruit suspended in white custard, and the way you describe it as tasting just like plum pie with shortbread crumb topping, in ice cream form. YUMMM! Just brilliant. Props to you for supporting the ASPCA! Those folks are amazing. We got our kitty from the one in San Francisco. :)

  22. Is there a frozen treat I don't enjoy? Probably not! Ha! As of this moment though, I'm really into this "Sneaky" Mint shake recipe that includes spinach, mint extract, almond milk, banana and cacao nibs. It's delicious and healthy... but tastes so sinful!

  23. You have such a beautiful blog. This entry is making me think of the strawberry freezer jam I dip into as a treat. The stuff is good on ice cream, too, but nothing beats a straight spoonful!

  24. Love your blog and the recipes! I like "homemade Popsicles" using real juice. Great and refreshing on a hot day.

  25. This semifreddo looks WONDERFUL!! I wish I could lick the screen!
    And super sad-face that the giveaway is only for US residents... why not share the love with your top hat (Canada)? :)

  26. Your recipe looks so delicious, and the photography is stunning! Anyways, thanks for sharing this giveaway... I just love Walker's shortbread. Let's see, my favorite frozen treat is definitely ice cream. Particularly, cherry cheesecake-flavored ice cream. Yum!