Cherry Almond Semifreddo Tarts – A Valentine’s Day Shortcut Dessert Recipe


Cherry Almond Semifreddo Tarts - shown here inverted for serving

Your sweetie deserves a special treat on Valentine’s Day, right? Your sweetie deserves the best, right?

But if time constraints don’t allow you to spend hours in the kitchen creating an elegant French masterpiece worthy of your sweetheart, we have a solution for you: our shortcut semifreddo tarts.

Cherry and almond is a flavor match made in heaven. One of my mother’s signature dishes is a cherry pie she makes with added almond extract to the filling. It is a dessert that several generations have raved about for 50 years. So, I decided to whip up an easy dessert with that flavor profile, and started with cherry pie filling. The result is our entry for the Lucky Leaf pie filling recipe contest.

I love the texture of a semifreddo (semi-frozen) dessert, so this mousse-type mixture is placed in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to achieve that texture.

Whip these tarts up with minimal prep time and then chill for at least 30 minutes and –voila! – fabulous cherry almond flavor with that Italian semifreddo texture!



Total Time: One hour

Serves 8

(NOTE: The tarts will chill faster and reach a more “semi-frozen” texture if you place the 8 one-cup ramekins in the freezer for a few hours before making this recipe.)

5 ounces sliced almonds, divided
2 cups vanilla wafers (about 20)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup cold whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
8 ounces cold cream cheese
1 can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf cherry pie filling, divided
1 teaspoon almond extract

Set aside about 40 of the sliced almonds to use for garnish. Place remaining almonds in food processor with the vanilla wafers and butter. Process to very small crumbs and until mixture begins to stick together.

Use 8 one-cup sized ramekins, preferably chilled in freezer. Place 1/4 cup of the crumb mixture into each ramekin, patting down with fingers. Place ramekins in freezer while making tart filling.

Remove 24 whole cherries from the Lucky Leaf pie filling and set aside to use for garnish.

To make tart filling, whip the whipping cream and powdered sugar to stiff peaks.

In food processor, process the remaining Lucky Leaf pie filling, cream cheese and almond extract until smooth.

Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Place scant 1/2 cup of mixture into each ramekin. Place ramekins back into freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Before serving, place 5 sliced almonds and three cherries on top of each tart.

Here are some of my favorite Valentine Ideas by other food bloggers:

To see what chefs whip up for their sweeties go here.

And check out this joyful valentine baking.

I love these gluten free Valentine Pops.

Make edible centerpieces of chocolate dipped fruits on a stick.

Can’t go wrong with Barbara’s Mac-a-Valentines.

I’ve always wanted to try some thin layered gelatin desserts.

Edible scrabble pieces to spell a valentine message – genius!

Home made Oreos have GOT to be better than the cardboard ones!

–posted by Donna


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