Lemon Semifreddo with Berries and Amaretto

Adapted from Epicurious
~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Serves 6-8

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 3/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
7 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups mixed fresh berries (such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and quartered hulled strawberries)
2-3 Tablespoons Amaretto Liqueur

My Notes:  I halved this recipe and then made 1 plus 1/2 recipe.  This made enough for two 9x5x3 pans.  The original recipe calls for the berries to be mixed with sugar.  Instead of sugar we used Amaretto which added a wonderful flavor to compliment the toasted almonds on the semifreddo.  We also used regular lemons rather than Meyer lemons and it was delicious using regular lemons. Also, if you have a stand mixer, such as a KitchenAid, you can whip the cream first using the metal bowl and transfer the whipped cream to a regular bowl to refrigerate.  Then, wash and reuse the metal bowl over the pan of simmering water to make the custard.  Then, it's simple to place the bowl back on the mixer to whip the custard in the same bowl.  

Preheat oven to 350F.

Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of sliced almonds on a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, watching carefully in the last few minutes so they do not burn.  Set aside to cool.

Line a 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving generous overhang. Sprinkle toasted almonds evenly over bottom of pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat whipping cream in large bowl until soft peaks form. Refrigerate whipped cream while making custard.

Whisk 1-1/4 cups sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over large saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until yolk mixture is thick and fluffy and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 170°F, about 4 minutes.

Remove bowl from over simmering water. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until cool, thick, and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Fold in chilled whipped cream. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Tap loaf pan lightly on work surface to remove air pockets. Fold plastic wrap overhang over top to cover. Freeze semifreddo until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

DO AHEAD: Semifreddo can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.

Gently mix all berries and 2-2 tablespoons of Amaretto liqueur in a large bowl.

Unfold plastic wrap from top of semifreddo and invert dessert onto platter; remove plastic wrap. Dip heavy large knife into hot water; cut semifreddo crosswise into 1-inch or so slices.

Transfer to plates; spoon berries alongside and serve.