If you don't have a long loaf pan, you can use a large baking dish or a tube pan with a removable bottom (wrap foil around the outside to prevent leaks).
Make Ahead: The semifreddo needs to be frozen for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- For the semifreddo
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
- 4 cups chilled heavy cream, whipped
- 1 1/2 cups crushed amaretti cookies
- 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, lightly toasted (see NOTE)
- 1 cup finely chopped dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots
- Finely grated zest from 2 large oranges (2 tablespoons)
- For the topping
- 8 strawberries, hulled and diced
- 4 mint leaves, rolled tightly and cut crosswise into thin strips (chiffonade)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
For the semifreddo: Line a Pullman-size loaf pan (about 12 by 5 inches) with enough plastic wrap (2 pieces) so the wrap hangs generously over all 4 sides.
Heat a medium saucepan with a few inches of water over medium heat.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over the saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (about 10 minutes). Transfer the bowl to a work surface. Use a hand-held mixer (not an immersion blender) to whip until the mixture has cooled and thickened. Alternatively, transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon-whisk attachment; beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
Add the amaretto liqueur, then fold in the whipped cream, crushed amaretti cookies, almonds, dried apricots and orange zest until evenly distributed. Transfer to the lined loaf pan, smoothing the mixture evenly and making sure it fills the corners. Cover with the overhang of plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, make the topping: Combine the strawberries, mint and orange juice in a medium bowl, stirring to mix well.
Unwrap the top plastic of the semifreddo; unmold onto a platter. Let it sit for a few minutes, then cut crosswise into 16 slices.
Serve each slice topped with some of the strawberry mixture.
NOTE: Toast the nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat just until lightly browned. Cool completely before using.
From Washington chef-restaurateur Barbara Black.
Tested by Randy Richter.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.