Last week I was invited to a lunch party. We ate strawberries fresh from the garden on a long table under a spreading maple tree. They were the sweetest I’d ever tasted.
It reminded me of a recipe I posted for that Italian treat, semifreddo. As the name implies, it is close to ice cream, but not quite. But with strawberries on my mind, here is a refresher for this splendid dessert.
For the Fourth of July, I added blueberries to this dessert’s red and white coloring. And some edible sparkles to make it a spangled strawberry semifreddo!
3 cups fresh strawberries
1 tsp lemon juice
½ - ¾ cup sugar
12 oz heavy cream or whipping cream
4 oz Greek yogurt
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup washed blueberries
Silver-colored decorative balls or sprinkles from the children’s birthday section of the supermarket
Take a loaf or brownie pan and line it with plastic wrap so that the wrap folds over the sides and can come up and cover the entire filled pan.
Cut the green stem off the strawberries and wash and quarter them.
In a small stainless-steel pot mix the sugar, lemon juice, and two and a half cups of the strawberries. Heat till boiling, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time. The strawberries will break down as if for jam, but do not let them become runny – you want the berries to keep some of their shapes.
Remove to a bowl and let cool.
Separate ¾ cup of the mixture and put into the blender. Pour the rest of the strawberry mix into a container that will fit in the freezer and let sit there for ten minutes.
Whiz the berries in the blender till you’ve got a sauce to cover the top of the dessert. Place this coulis in the refrigerator.
Whip the cream till it forms stiff peaks. Then fold in the yogurt and vanilla.
Remove the 1 ¾ cup of berries that you’d placed in the freezer and swirl them gently into the cream/yogurt mixture. Tip this mix carefully into the pan. Fold the plastic over so it covers the face of the dessert. Freeze for at least two hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let warm a little on the counter so that it is easy to slice. Lift the dessert in its plastic wrap and place it upside down on a serving plate. Peel off the plastic. Slice the semifreddo into 1-inch-thick pieces.
To serve, pour a little of the coulis onto a small plate and place a slice of the semifreddo on top. Place the blueberries and the extra half cup of fresh strawberries around the edges of each slice, with a few on top. Strew the silvery decoration over the top of the dessert. Alternatively, if you have pretty iced tea glasses, place the blueberries in the bottom of the glass, top with two pieces of the semifreddo, then the extra strawberries and the coulis. Sprinkle the silver decorative balls over the top.