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Strawberries and Cream Semifreddo

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Serves eight to ten.

Semifreddo means “half-cold” in Italian and refers to a chilled or half-frozen dessert containing whipped cream or meringue. This creamy version is like a frozen strawberry mousse.

For the semifreddo
  • 1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks plus 1 large egg
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
For serving
  • 1-1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (4 cups)
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp. Grand Marnier (optional)
Make the semifreddo

Line an 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook the sliced strawberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar, stirring occasionally, until the berries soften and begin to break apart, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

Choose a medium stainless-steel bowl that can rest just inside a medium saucepan. Pour about 1 inch of water in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to maintain a gentle simmer. Choose another bowl large enough to hold the medium bowl. Fill the large bowl with about 2 inches of ice water; set aside. Put the egg yolks, whole egg, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the medium bowl and whisk until well combined and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved strawberry mixture and whisk to combine. Set the bowl over the saucepan without letting it touch the water and whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and leaves a trail when you lift the whisk, 3 to 4 minutes. Set the bowl in the ice water and whisk occasionally until cool, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large chilled metal mixing bowl with a hand mixer on medium-high speed (or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), beat the cream to medium peaks, 2 to 3 minutes.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until just combined. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, smooth the surface, cover with plastic, and freeze for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Serve

Toss the quartered strawberries with the sugar and Grand Marnier (if using) to taste. Let sit until the berries release some of their juices, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the semifreddo from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften slightly. Invert onto a cutting board, remove the plastic, and slice. Serve topped with the quartered berries.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): fat g 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 10; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 25; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 140; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Lisa Romerein

This is yummy. Don't skip the sauce on top. Leftovers go in the freezer. Fairly easy to make.

We really enjoyed this, and it really goes together very quickly. The strawberry flavor was lovely with fresh local strawberries. Delicious!

I made this for a cookout on the 4th and everyone loved it. It looked beautiful and tasted wonderful. It was easy and straightforward and every step went as explained in the recipe. Next time I might drizzle with dark chocolate. I have made a semifreddo before and it's an easy and cool pick for a hot summer day.

This was just ok. Don't think i would make this again. it definitely does not hold up in the fridge for any left over.

The whole family found this to be an excellent dessert. Very creamy yet refreshing with the strawberries. Read my full review at: http://themomchef.blogspot.com/2010/06/strawberries-and-cream-semifreddo-from.html

I made this yesterday and served it this evening. It is now gone and everyone loved it. It is easy to make although getting the custard to thicken took longer than the recipe indicated. I will make this again and likely do a double or triple recipe for a party next weekend. The ability to do this all ahead makes it a great party recipe. We served it exactly as written but some people had to add some whipped cream on top. We did use just now available local berries so I'm sure that helped with the deliciousness.

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