Thursday, July 30 ,2015

Basil Lime Semifreddo with Strawberry Sorbet

semifreddoThis is one of my favorite desserts that I’ve developed for Infusing Flavors (Cool Spring Press, 2016)!

If you’ve never heard of semifreddo, it’s basically a frozen mousse.  (I know. Yum, already!) It’s great on its own but when I paired it with the bright flavor of strawberry sorbet, it just sang. (What did it sing? Not sure but I sounded a little Italian. Wha wha whaaa.)

Anyway, it’s not tough to make but it does take a little time to set up so you should plan to make it the day before you serve it.

My family was up visiting from Arizona last week and my nephew, Ryan, gave it the thumbs up!  I know you’ll like it too.


Basil Lime Semifreddo with Strawberry Sorbet
Serves 8 to 12

3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup caster sugar , divided
1 tablespoon chiffonade-cut basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 lbs strawberries (about 4 cups), hulled and sliced
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt

Whisk together the egg yolks, lime zest and juice, salt, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the top pan of a double-boiler or heatproof medium bowl. Set the double-boiler (or bowl) over a saucepan of gently simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened slightly, 12 to 15 minutes.

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Pour the lime mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Stir in the chiffonade cut basil leaves. Tuck plastic wrap onto the surface of the basil lime mixture and let the mixture infuse until cool, about 1 hour.

Line an 8”x4” loaf pan or funky 1950’s gelatin mold with plastic wrap. (I used my Le Creuset Pate Terrine that I just had to have after culinary school. Number of pates I’ve made? Two…)

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar on medium until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. When the cream is whipped, gently fold it into the basil lime mixture.

Pour into the plastic lined loaf pan, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

While the semifreddo is setting up make the sorbet. Place the strawberries into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Add the sugar and lemon juice and salt and continue to puree until the sugar is fully incorporated, about a minute. The liquid should equal about 3 cups.

Transfer the sorbet base to a mixing bowl or dish and place in the refrigerator to chill. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until very cold.

Pour the chilled sorbet into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers’ recommendations, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Spread the churned sorbet over the frozen semifreddo and freeze at least 2 hours, or until the sorbet has hardened. Slice and serve on chilled plates.

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