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
• Blueberry Semifreddo, from Sydney Morning Herald (pictured)
• Boysenberry and Honey Semifreddo, from Bron Marshall
• Double Cherry Semi-Freddo, from BBC Good Food (pictured)
• Plum Burnt-Butter Cakes with Plum Semifreddo, from Gourmet Traveller
• Raspberry Semifreddo Torte, from Gourmet
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.