Raspberry-Balsamic Semifreddo – Better than Ice Cream

IMG_20130714_164053_188Since going gluten free we have been hard pressed to find really good desserts. Well that is over now! I had never heard of Semifreddo until reading my recent copy of Fine Cooking. This stuff is good and not too hard to make. The hardest part is waiting the 6 plus hours of freezing time before digging in.

There are 3 stages to making this luscious dessert. First make some whip cream (full directions and ingredients follow):IMG_20130713_170012_077Make the zabagiloneIMG_20130713_171605_172

Make the meringueIMG_20130713_173915_209Fold it all together IMG_20130713_174628_426Freeze for at least 6 hours, slice and serve. Enjoy!!


1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
6 oz. (1 cup) fresh raspberries
5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Chambord (black raspberry liqueur)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar


Thoroughly chill a large metal bowl and the beaters of an electric hand mixer. Line the bottom and long sides of a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a 12×20-inch piece of plastic wrap, leaving 4-inch overhangs on the long sides. Smooth the plastic along the sides and into the corners; it’s OK if there are wrinkles. The plastic will not completely cover the short sides.

Whip the cream
Beat the cream in the chilled bowl with the chilled beaters on medium-high speed just until firm peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate.

Make the zabaglione
Using the back of a wooden spoon, press the raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Scrape any purée from the bottom of the sieve into the bowl and set aside.

Clean and dry the beaters. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 1-1/2 inches of water to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Put the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the Chambord in a medium metal bowl and set the bowl over the pan of simmering water; make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Beat on medium speed, frequently scraping down the bowl with a silicone spatula, until the zabaglione is thick, almost doubled in volume, and the beaters leave a trail when you lift them, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and fold the raspberry purée into the zabaglione until combined. Set aside.

Make the meringue
Clean and dry the beaters. Return the pan to the heat and maintain the water at a gentle simmer. Put the egg whites, the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, the cream of tartar, and salt in a large metal bowl and set it over the pan of water. Beat on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a clean silicone spatula, until light, fluffy, and shiny, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and continue beating until the meringue is very thick and billowy, about 2 minutes more.

Fold and freeze
In a small bowl, whisk the raspberry jam and balsamic vinegar until smooth.

Use a silicone spatula to gently fold the zabaglione into the meringue and then fold in the whipped cream until no streaks remain. Dollop the jam mixture over the top and fold it in with just a few long, gentle strokes to create swirls.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula, scraping off excess if necessary to create a level top. Wrap the overhanging plastic over the top to cover and freeze for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.

Unmold and serve
Peel back the plastic wrap from the top of the semifreddo. Invert the pan over a cutting board or serving platter. Lift off the pan, holding the overhanging plastic down on one side and then the other. Remove the plastic wrap. If the semifreddo looks wrinkled, warm a long knife or small offset spatula under hot running water, wipe the blade dry, and run it over the wrinkles to smooth them out.

Slice the semifreddo crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces to serve.

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