In the great pantheon of Italian frozen desserts, there's gelato, there's sorbetto and granita, and then there's semifreddo. Translating to "half cold" or "half frozen," semifreddo is a velvety, mousse-like treat that does not require special equipment to make.
Softer than gelato or ice cream, semifreddo can be made with regular kitchen tools as simple as a pot, a bowl, a whisk, and a loaf pan. Recipes vary, but the basic ingredients are eggs, cream, and sugar. Some consist of a custard base or folded-in whipped cream or egg whites for an airy texture. Alcohol is occasionally added, which helps prevent it from freezing completely. The easiest way to chill semifreddo is in a loaf pan; after several hours, scoop like ice cream or turn it out and cut into slices. Other preparations involve using molds, pouring it into a crust, or layering it with cake.
While there are endless flavor possibilities, we thought we'd round up some recipes featuring summer's glorious berries and stone fruits.
• Almond Praline Semifreddo with Grappa-Poached Apricots, from Gourmet
• Apricot Semifreddo by Domenica Marchetti, from Leite's Culinaria
• Blackberry Semifreddi with Walnut Meringue, from Gourmet
• Lemon-Blackberry Semifreddo, from Martha Stewart
• Blueberry Semifreddo, from Sydney Morning Herald (pictured)
• Boysenberry and Honey Semifreddo, from Bron Marshall
• Double Cherry Semi-Freddo, from BBC Good Food (pictured)
• Berry Semifreddo, from Milk and Cookies
• Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries, from Bon Appétit (pictured)
• Peach and Lavender Semifreddo, from A Spoonful of Sugar
• Peach Praline Semifreddo with Amaretti, from Gourmet (pictured)
• Plum Burnt-Butter Cakes with Plum Semifreddo, from Gourmet Traveller
• Raspberry Semifreddo Torte, from Gourmet
• Cream Puffs with Strawberry Semi Freddo, from Cook & Eat
• Limoncello Semifreddo with Strawberries, from delicious. magazine
If you're new to making semifreddo, this New York Times article and interview with Marcella Hazan includes several helpful pointers for working with the egg whites, cream, and sugar.
Related: Ice Cream, Sorbet, & Frozen Yogurt: The Full Roundup!
(Images: Marco del Grande for Sydney Morning Herald, Romulo Yanes for Gourmet, Good Food, Coral von Zumwalt for Bon Appétit)