Ice cream is great, right? Right. What is your favourite flavour? You probably answered automatically, without blinking, but I’ll bet it was one of the top ice cream flavours everyone always says is the best.
I’ve got news for you. Ice cream is boring. You can argue with me all you want, but the flavour most people opt for is vanilla. That’s the culinary equivalent of beige paint. Yawn.
This is where the semifreddo comes in. Semifreddo means ‘semi frozen’ and it goes down very well with Italians, and they know frozen desserts. It is a fruity, creamy, crunchy, frozen bit of awesomeness.
Easy and cheap to make. Fun to eat. Like boring ice cream, but a little different… and not boring.
400g frozen berries
125g icing sugar
3 tbsp fruit liqueur
1 lemon, seated and juiced
4 large eggs whites
600ml double cream
50g meringue nests, crumbled
1: First line a freezerproof serving dish with greaseproof paper. Or one that isn’t freezerproof. Depends how many bits of dish you want in your dessert.
2: Add the fruit to a saucepan with 50g of the icing sugar, the fruit liqueur and the lemon juice. Heat gently until the berries start to get a little mushy and the surrounding liquid is syrupy. This should take about five minutes.
3: Lift out half the berries (with a slotted spoon if you’re fancy enough to have one) and set aside. Whizz the remaining berries and juice to a pulp in a food processor. Leave them both to cool.
4: In a bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. If you’re feeling like a show off, turn the bowl upside down over your head. If it is stiff enough it’ll stay in the bowl. If it isn’t you’ll at least provide everyone with a laugh. Showmanship out the way, add the remaining icing sugar and beat until thick and glossy. In a separate bowl whip the cream until it holds its shape.
5: Gently fold the egg whites and lemon zest into the cream then fold in most of the crumbled meringue. I’ll tell you not to pinch a little bit here and there but what’s the point? You know and I know that you’ll ignore me.
6: Drizzle in most of the puréed fruit and all the whole fruit. Gently fold until marbled, which is a posh way of saying “all swirly”. Empty into serving dish and drizzle over the remaining puréed fruit and meringue. Freeze for at least 8 hours. Try not to poke half way through.
7: 20 minutes before you want to eat it remove it from the freezer, let it soften for those 20 minutes before serving in dollops. Or straight into your mouth. Depends if you have company or not.
It melts better than ice cream. Tastes better than ice cream. Looks better than ice cream. Is easier to make than ice cream. Summary: better than ice cream.
Plus, make it for when people come round and you’ll look like a kitchen wizard when all you did was make ice cream fun again.