Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Citrus Semifreddo

Pin It

With the outlook for this weekend's weather, I thought you could use one of these desserts, whether you are entertaining or not.  I am working on a post you will appreciate, especially if you are a new subscriber, and it is taking me forever.  It is indeed a labor of love!  So today, it will be a very brief post with a recipe from someone else but one I thought you would definitely enjoy.  It is very straightforward and if you are one of those people who love gelatos but do not have an ice cream machine, here's your chance.  You don't need one!

Semifreddo (Italian: "half cold") is a class of semi-frozen desserts, typically ice-cream cakes, semi-frozen custards, and certain fruit tarts. It has the texture of frozen mousse because it is usually produced by uniting two equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream.  In Italian cuisine, the Semifreddo is commonly made with gelato as a primary ingredient. It is typical of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.

In this recipe, you are going to prepare the custard which makes the gelato up to the point where you would place it in the ice cream machine.  Instead of doing that, you are going to fold the cream into the custard and proceed directly to the freezer.  Don't skip the Limoncello, you know how I feel about it.  There are several recipes in the blog that use it and a few drops on espresso is a real treat.  My friend Juan taught me that and he is so right!

Printable Recipe

Serves 8


Nonstick cooking spray

4 ounces purchased amaretti cookies, crushed (about 20 small cookies) plus more for sprinkling

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup

8 large egg yolks

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons limoncello

Pinch salt

1 lemon, zested

1 lime, zested

1 cup whipping cream


Spray a 9 by 5 by 3-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the ends and sides.

Combine the crushed amaretti cookies and the melted butter. Put in the lined pan and press down to firm and form a crust.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar, the egg yolks, lemon juice, lime juice, limoncello, and salt in a large metal bowl to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Whisk the egg mixture until it is thick and creamy, and a thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl of custard into another bowl of ice water to cool completely. Stir in the zest.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another large bowl until firm peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crust. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the custard and freeze until frozen, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Unfold the plastic wrap. Invert the semifreddo onto a platter and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the semifreddo into 1-inch slices and sprinkle with crushed amaretti cookies and serve.

Recipe Giada de Laurentis


  1. sounds delicious ...........i should give it try. looks very creamy and smooth.

  2. Hi! Your semifreddo recipe was nominated as one of the "Best 300 Semifreddo Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit - your recipe is positioned at #100 (random order).


Thank you for visiting Lindaraxa. Your comments are much appreciated.

Pin It button on image hover