Fresh Cheese & Raspberries Semifreddo Popsicles
Every Monday I look forward to Saturday. The attraction of the weekend is a tad lost on us given our schedules, but from April through December, Saturday mornings are set aside for the farmers market. Rain or shine, we are making our rounds as soon as the market opens up. It gets pretty busy around 9.30am but by then we have already stopped by the patisserie and are on our way home.
I’ve got my market route down pat and beside spreading my budget to as many farmers as I can, after a while you can tell who specializes in what. I know where to get round zucchinis for my petits farcis, peas for my salads, deep purple Spring onions and potatoes, peaches, etc…Last stops are always the same, meat guy, pasta dude, milk and egg ladies. For half of what I would spend at the grocery store, I have everything we need for the week and sometimes more.
Yes, I am obviousy in love with our market but I also relish in that one hour of walking around with B. and just be. To get to know the people who are behind the food that gets on our plate, their passions beside food, their hopes, their families. I know my family’s health is in good hands with them.
One Saturday morning that we were operating on very little sleep, we went our separate ways for a minute and both got milk. I thought for a second about bringing some back but was actually quite happy to have the perfect excuse to make yogurt and fresh cheese. Specifically my dad’s favorite, faisselle.
For me, "faisselle" is synonymous with vacations, my father, and our chalet in the Alps. Best memories a child could have. Lots of cousins have taken their first steps there, got rid of their training wheels, had their first kiss, their first sleepover under the stars, built their first fort. Many rocks and stones thrown in the Durance river behind, many of us took our first gliders trip or learned how to ski there.
About twice a week, we would walk across the air field where the cows were enjoying their pasture at the end of the runway to get milk and faisselle. An epic scene for sure! Once back at the chalet, my dad would boil the milk and spread the resulting top cream on fresh bread. That was a ritual and a treat. The faisselle was neatly parked until dinner time and dessert.
As a kid I was not too fond of it unless there was enough honey mixed with it. As years went on and my palate evolved, I longed for it again and after a few attempts, I finally got successful results in making it at home. With the extra goat milk from the market, I made a big batch of faisselle and turned some into Fresh Cheese and Raspberries Semifreddo Popsicles.
A few raspberries mulled with honey dropped at the bottom of a shot glass and topped with faisselle ice cream and there you have the perfect mix of tangy, creamy and refreshing. They disappeared in no time with our friends this weekend. That little bit of work brought this dessert to another level of good. Trust me. If the task of making faisselle seems too great, replace with equal amount of Greek yogurt, the taste will be very close.
One more thing before I leave you with the recipe:
I am going to be holding a panel on food photography at Evo 10 in Utah June 24th-26th and I was given the opportunity to give away a 2 day pass* to the conference – Yes! TWO DAYS! . It’s pretty darn huge given all the great topics this conference will cover. I am honored to be among such amazing speakers. I can’t wait to be there!
So if you want to attend or know someone who needs, wants, would love to be there: leave a comment on this post between today and Thursday June 3rd at midnight (US eastern time) when a lucky winner will be drawn at random.
* Giveaway includes full access pass to all panels, workshops, activities as seen on the agenda page but does not include travel to and from, food or lodging.
Fresh Cheese and Raspberries Semifreddo Popsicles:
Makes enough for 8-10 small treats
Note: if you wish to venture (and I hope you do) into making your own fresh faisselle for this, you need to start the day before for the best taste. If you want to skip that part, you can use a good tangy Greek yogurt the day you prepare these.
For the (fresh cheese) faisselle:
1 quart whole milk ( 4 cups – 946ml)(I like to use raw when I can but that is up to your own preference) (goat or cow)
1/2 cup heavy cream (118ml)
1/4 cup dry milk powder (60 gr)
8 drops liquid rennet
In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream and milk powder and bring the mixture to 120F over medium heat. Let cool to room temperature and add the rennet. Stir once with a wooden spoon, transfer to a clean bowl (porcelain, glass or plastic), cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit undisturbed for 2 to 4 hours. Place in the refrigerator and let sit overnight to develop more taste. Drain and used as desired the next day.
For the raspberries:
1 pint fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons honey
Place the berries and the honey in a non reactive bowl, break slightly with the back of a spoon or a fork and let macerate 10-15 minutes. Divide the mixture in the bottom of your cups, ramekins or glasses. Set aside.
For the ice cream:
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 Tablespoons (50 gr water)
1/4 cup ) honey
200 gr faisselle (drained a bit)(or Greek tangy yogurt)
In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment or hand held one with balloon whisks, beat the cream until it just holds soft peaks. Chill while you prepare the ice cream (parfait) base. Wash your bowl and whisk attachment.
In a heavy saucepan, stir together the water and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Since you are not making caramel, it is ok to stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Let it boil and bring the mixture to 238°F on thermometer (soft-ball stage).
In the clean bowl of your mixer, still using the whisk attachment, beat the yolks slightly to break them up. Increase the speed to medium high and slowly pour the hot syrup over the yolks. Go fast enough to prevent the eggs from scrambling but not so fast that you end up with most of the syrup on the wall of the bowl or the whisk. Continue to whip until the mass is completely cold and airy.
By hand, whisk in the drained faisselle (or yogurt) and about 1/3 of the ice cream base into the chilled whipped cream to loosen it up and make it easier to incorporate homogeneously. Fold in the remaining base.
Divide the ice cream base on top of the raspberries and freeze at least 2-4 hours or until firm.