Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lemon Semifreddo

I hope you don't mind two recipes in a row. I've had some time off from work over the summer and have enjoyed some extra time in the kitchen. This recipe has been a hit at more than one girl's night at my house.

In Italian, "semifreddo" means "half-cold." This semi-frozen dessert is like an ice cream, but is less icy and dense. Both light and creamy, this dessert is a perfectly satisfying treat in summer. This is not a tart lemon dessert, but a sweet creamy dessert with a light, fresh lemon flavor. Please note this recipe must be prepared in advance.

Tip: If you don't care for lemon, this recipe could easily be prepared with orange juice, orange zest and orange liquor instead.

[Creamy lemon mixture]

Lemon Semifreddo
Makes 8 -1/2 cup servings or 4-1 cup servings.
  • 4 eggs yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello (optional)

In a mixer, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. In a double boiler* bring water in bottom pan to a simmer. In the top pan of double boiler add egg mixture, 1/2 cup of the whipping cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and limoncello. Whisking constantly to prevent burning, cook mixture until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour mixture into a glass heat-proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap by laying plastic wrap directly onto mixture to prevent a "skin" from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.

In a clean mixer, whip remaining 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate large bowl, stir thoroughly 1/3 of whip cream with cooled lemon mixture. With a rubber spatula, fold in remaining 2/3 of whip cream. Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins and allow to freeze for 6-8 hours.

*If you don't have a double-boiler you can use a heat-proof glass bowl set over a saucepan of water. The bowl should not be touching water.

[Luscious homemade whipped cream]

[The alluring final result]

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