1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Make semifreddo: Coat 9" x 5" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, letting it extend beyond long ends of pan. Place strawberries in bowl of food processor and process until smooth; set aside.
2. Put water and sugar in small, heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and bring to boil.
3. Meanwhile, place yolks in bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat at high speed until pale and thick.
4. Place candy thermometer into sugar syrup. Boil syrup until it reaches a temperature of 250°F (hard ball stage). This should take about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and while yolks are beating at medium speed, trickle a small amount of syrup onto yolks. Continue adding syrup until it is all incorporated. Increase speed to high and continue to beat yolk mixture until cool, about 3 minutes. Add strawberry purée to yolk mixture and mix until blended.
4. In another bowl of electric mixer, using whisk attachment, beat heavy cream and mascarpone cheese until soft peaks form. Stir about 1/2 cup of strawberry purée into whipped cream. Gently fold this mixture and vanilla extract into yolk mixture. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and smooth into even layer. Cover top of pan (without touching mixture) and freeze for at least 2 hours, until almost firm.
5. To serve, dip bottom of loaf pan in hot water for a few seconds to soften semifreddo, then lift out of pan, using plastic wrap as handles. Peel off plastic wrap; slice semifreddo into 3/4" slices and serve immediately.
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