May 7, 2008

lemon semifreddo with fresh berries

Here it is -- what you've been waiting for-- and I assure you, it's worth it. You should go out and get some lemons, some eggs and some berries and MAKE THIS NOW. It's one of those desserts--perfect for a dinner party-- that look really difficult and taste divine but are really easy to make. You don't need to be a pastry chef to do this one!

'Semifreddo' is Italian for half-frozen because this ice cream-like dessert never fully hardens but is cold and delicious. It can be made with many elements--other fruit juices, chocolate, nuts... just replace the lemon juice with some other flavor. I always order them when in Italy as they're one of the more ubiquitous desserts in a country that doesn't indulge too much in the after dinner sweets.

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries
(adapted from bon appetit, June 2008 pg. 129)

1/2 c sliced almonds
1 3/4 c heavy cream, chilled
1 1/4 plus 2 T sugar
7 large egg yolks
1/2 c fresh meyer or regular lemon juice
1 T plus 2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups mixed fresh berries

Line a 9x5x3-ince metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving ample overhang on the sides
Sprinkle almonds on the bottom in a single layer
Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, put in refrigerator while making custard
Whisk 1 1/4 c sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt in large metal bowl to blend
Set bowl over large saucepan of simmering water and whisk until thickened, about 4-5 min.
Remove bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until cool, thick and doubled in volume, about 6 min.
Fold in chilled whipped cream. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Fold plastic wrap over top to cover and freeze at least 8 hours, or overnight. This could be done up to 3 days ahead. Keep frozen. When ready to serve, mix remaining sugar with berries and spoon alongside the sliced (1-in thick, crosswise) semifreddo.

N.B.: I'll be on a little roadtrip to Atlanta over the next couple of days. Stay tuned for posts about Restaurant Eugene and Watershed (I hope!)


  1. wow
    that sounds perfect
    i'm bookmarking this for a summer party, for sure

  2. Absolutely fabulous.
    Most definitely making this asap.
    Have fun in Hotlanta!