Freeze

Spumoni

by:
June 10, 2021
0 Ratings
Author Notes

This recipe goes back to early marriage, which happens to be 40 years ago this week! We were both in school and on a very strict budget. As I recall we had $25 a week for food, alcohol, and entertainment. I shopped at the A&P right behind our apartment in Chapel Hill, NC. I managed to squirrel away $1 every other week and finally completed a set of cookbooks the grocery store was promoting. I really, really needed those books. And I actually studied them. They were in alphabetical order, but also had sections dealing with various countries and cuisines. And they contained a recipe for Spumoni—sounded very delicious to me, but looked relatively easy. I had certainly never heard of it. I know I've changed this recipe over the years and hope I have changed it enough to qualify as not outright stealing. I think the books were put out by Woman's Day, but could be wrong. It was a long time ago! —Annelle

Test Kitchen Notes

Spumoni, a classic Italian dessert, is known for its colorful, bright layers—most feature three, one of which is a fruit or nut layer—and an abundance of textures. It may look fancy, but it's very easy to make, as the freezer does most of the heavy lifting, and you can experiment with lots of different flavors. This version features an outer layer that gets additional zing and a beautiful color thanks to the addition of Frangelico, an Italian hazelnut liqueur. The inner layer is made up of candied cherries, candied orange peel, cherry brandy, and chopped pistachios (which are the nuts traditionally used in spumoni), but you can sub in any kind of candied fruit and nuts you have on hand. Instead of a layer of chocolate gelato or ice cream, which is also traditional, this recipe calls for garnishing with a sweet, delicious homemade chocolate syrup, which is quickly made with some sugar, water, cocoa powder, and heavy cream. You could also build the layers with strawberry and pistachio gelato or ice cream.

This is definitely a great dessert recipe to make ahead, since the assembled spumoni can hang out in the freezer until it's ready to go, and you can keep the chocolate syrup chilling in the fridge as well. It'll be a showstopper of a treat that would round out any dinner, be it casual or fancy. Just be sure to slice the spumoni (never scoop!) for the prettiest presentation—and it also helps to dip your knife into warm water between each slice for the cleanest cut. —The Editors

  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 10
Ingredients
  • Outer layer
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico
  • Chocolate syrup and inner layer
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied cherries
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons cherry brandy
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Outer layer
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the egg yolks, milk, and salt, whisking to combine. Add the granulated sugar and cook, whisking frequently, until the sugar melts and the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the Frangelico. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart mold or loaf pan. Place in the freezer and freeze until nearly firm.
  1. Chocolate syrup and inner layer
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the granulated sugar and water until the sugar melts. Add the cocoa powder and return to a boil, stirring, until the cocoa is dissolved into a syrup. Add ¾ cup cream, stirring, and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and store the chocolate syrup in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the remaining 1 cup cream until stiff. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat just to combine. Fold in the cherries, pistachios, orange peel, and brandy.
  4. Remove the mold from the freezer. Using a rubber spatula, gently spread the egg mixture up the sides and on the bottom of the mold. Pour the cream mixture into the center. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm.
  5. Unmold and slice into pieces. Garnish with the chocolate syrup and pistachios.
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