Sunday, February 14, 2021

Berry Semifreddo - Italian Soft Frozen Dessert


Ice cream makers are one of those gadgets that all too often sit and collect dust, am I right? Well here is a delicious (semi) frozen treat that is made gadget free!

Semifreddo is four basic ingredients and then add flavoring. Except for the freezing part, it takes less than 20 minutes preparation and then 8 hours later, presto! Deliciousness!

While preparation involves working with a double boiler (one pan with simmering water in it and a bowl on top with the ingredients) once you have created this magic, you realize it isn't as intimidating as it sounds.

My versions have only used berries, and frozen actually work better if you are more interested in the swirl of flavor as opposed to chunks of berries. If you search the web you can add in all sorts of stuff from chocolate and peanut butter to crushed candy, whatever delights you!

Berry Semifreddo

(makes 6-8 portions)

1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt (pinch)
3/4 cup frozen strawberries, pureed in blender

Before you assemble your ingredients, place a metal bowl and your beaters in the freezer to get cold for at least 15 minutes to ensure quick whipped cream. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper, so that it comes up the sides. This ensures ease of removal when you slice your semifreddo.

Whip cream with cold beaters until it forms stiff peaks and set in the refrigerator. Thoroughly clean beaters and select a sauce pan that can fit a metal bowl sitting in it without touching an inch of water in the sauce pan. Bring water to simmer, set bowl with egg whites and 2 tablespoons sugar on the simmering water and beat until fluffy. Remove from heat and continue beating until you get stiff peaks and set in refrigerator. Clean beaters well.

In a third metal bowl that can sit in the double boiler, whisk 4 tablespoons sugar with egg yolks, place over the simmering water and using the electric beaters, gently beat yolks until fluffy then remove from heat, turn off double boiler, and beat until the yolks turn a pale yellow and roughly double in volume, only a few minutes to achieve this.

Choose which ever is the largest bowl of the three containing ingredients, and gently fold in the other whipped items and the berry puree, folding gently but thoroughly to ensure an even distribution of the three whipped items. Pour into the loaf pan and press the plastic wrap or parchment from the sides down to create a level top (which will be the bottom). Cover with more plastic wrap or a plastic bag and secure tightly to prevent any existing freezer smells from seeping in. Freeze at least 8 hours before unmolding and cutting into slices. 


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