Brightly flavored and creamy textured, this Lemon-Raspberry Semifreddo is a refreshing dessert for any time of the year, but particularly during the hot summer months. Because it can be made well ahead of time, and only needs to be unmolded and garnished right before serving, it’s one of my go-to desserts to serve when I have guests for dinner. The base is extra-lemony, just the way I like it, and the sweet-tart raspberry ripple is an ideal color and flavor counterpoint. Fresh raspberries and crunchy toasted almonds add texture and another dimension of color.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 ¾ cups (180 grams) fresh or frozen (and thawed) raspberries
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 large (149 grams) egg yolks
- 1 ¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (181 grams) freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons (22 grams) finely grated lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups (464 grams) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) fresh raspberries
Make the Raspberry Puree:
- Put the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and process until pureed. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Set aside.
Make the semifreddo:
- Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with two overlapping strips of parchment paper, one extending at least 1 inch beyond the short sides of the pan, and the other extending 2 inches beyond the long sides of the pan. Set aside. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set this next to the stove. Fill a large bowl one-third of the way with ice water and set aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan one-third of the way with water and heat the water until it is barely simmering. In a medium heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel), whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt until blended. Place the bowl over the saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until it is uniformly pale and thickened to the consistency of thin mayonnaise, about 8 minutes. Immediately strain the lemon curd through the sieve into the bowl. Place the bowl into the bowl of ice water and allow to stand, stirring occasionally, until completely cool or slightly chilled.
- Put the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip it at medium-high speed until medium-firm peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd, one-third at a time.
- Spoon one-third of the lemon semifreddo base into the pan and spread into an even layer. Drizzle with one-third of the raspberry puree. Repeat the layering once more, then spread the remaining semifreddo mixture on top in an even layer (save the remaining puree for serving). Fold the parchment paper over the top of the semifreddo to cover it and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, lift the semifreddo out of the loaf pan using the parchment paper as handles. Invert the loaf onto a serving plate and drizzle with the remaining puree. Garnish with fresh raspberries and some toasted almonds. Cut slices to serve.