Feelin’ ZestyPosted: April 26, 2011
If you’ve read my previous post, then you know I went home for Easter this year. I thought it would be nice to contribute something to the big meal, so I made a Citrus Semifreddo for dessert.
I found this recipe in one of Giada De Laurentiis’ cookbooks a few years ago. She calls this Italian dessert a crowd-pleaser and honestly, the handful of times I’ve made it’s always been a hit. But what’s not to love about frozen lemon-lime custard and homemade whipped cream? Like most good desserts it takes a little effort to make, but it’s totally worth it.
– Cooking spray
– 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan
– Plastic wrap
– 4 oz of graham crackers, crushed
– 3 tablespoons of melted butter
– ½ cups plus ¼ cup sugar
– 8 egg yolks
– 1 lemon, zested
– 1 lime, zested
– ¼ cup lemon juice (about half a lemon)
– 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
– 2 tablespoons of limoncello
– Pinch of salt
– 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, allowing excess to hang over the sides.
Combine crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Add to pan and press firmly down to form a crust on the bottom. Refrigerate pan until ready to fill. (Giada’s recipe uses crushed amaretti cookies but I found graham crackers work just as well.)
Zest the lemon and the lime and set aside.
Whisk ½ cup sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Then whisk in the lemon juice, lime juice, limoncello and salt. Set bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until thick and creamy, about 5 to 8 minutes. (You can also use a double boiler if you have one. Since I was at my Mom’s house, I used hers.) The custard should reach a temperate of 160 degrees.
Put the custard in the fridge to cool down. I usually keep it in there as long as it takes me to make the whipped cream.
Beat the cream and ¼ sugar in another bowl until steak peaks form.
Add the zest of lemon and lime to the custard. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan. Fold the plastic wrap over the top and make sure it’s completely covered. (Covering it with foil won’t hurt either.) Freeze for at least 8 hours, or up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, unfold plastic wrap and gently tug at the sides to loosen. Flip the pan onto a plate, so the semifreddo falls out and the crust is on top. Slice and eat.
You’ll discover that the semifreddo is surprisingly light and refreshing, so it’s perfect after a heavy meal. It’s incredibly zesty and the custard is unbelievably smooth and creamy. Even though I ate this and ran (to the airport), it was a great way to end Easter dinner, and a really fun weekend with my family.