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Lemon-Lime Semifreddo

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

10 minutes


8-10 Servings

About the Recipe

If you're looking for a refreshing dessert to serve after a heavy meal or to cool off on a hot summer day, look no further than this Lemon-Lime Semifreddo! This Italian dessert is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors, creamy texture, and light, airy consistency that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

This exquisite frozen treat combines the zesty tang of lemons and limes with the velvety smoothness of a semifreddo, creating a symphony of flavors that is both refreshing and indulgent. With its vibrant hues and heavenly texture, this dessert is a feast for the eyes and the palate.

Semifreddo is a classic Italian dessert that translates to "half-cold" in English. It is believed to have originated in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. While the exact origins of semifreddo are not well-documented, it is thought to have emerged in the early 20th century.

Semifreddo was created as a variation of gelato, Italy's beloved frozen treat. The main difference between the two lies in their texture and preparation methods. Gelato has a lower fat content and is churned slowly to incorporate less air, resulting in a denser consistency. On the other hand, semifreddo has a higher fat content and is not churned, giving it a lighter and softer texture.

Semifreddo quickly gained popularity in Italy for its simplicity and versatility. Its creamy and velvety texture, combined with a wide range of flavor possibilities, made it a favorite among both home cooks and professional chefs. It became a staple dessert in many Italian households and restaurants.

Over time, semifreddo recipes evolved to include various flavor combinations such as chocolate, fruit, nuts, and coffee. It also became common to incorporate ingredients like whipped cream, eggs, and sugar to enhance its richness and creaminess.

Today, semifreddo continues to be a popular dessert both in Italy and around the world. Its versatility allows for endless creativity, making it a delightful treat that can be enjoyed in countless flavors and presentations. Whether served as a standalone dessert or used as a component in elaborate desserts, semifreddo remains a beloved culinary delight with a rich history in Italian cuisine.

So, get ready to savor the perfect balance of tangy citrus and creamy bliss in each delightful bite!
Let's get cooking!


3/4 cup Granulated Sugar

8 Egg Yolks

1/4 Lemon Juice

3 tablespoons Lime Juice

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Lemon Zest

1 teaspoon Lime Zest

1 cup Whipping Cream


1 cup Whipping Cream

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2-3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar


The texture and flavor of this dessert is devine!

So creamy and rich, but refreshing all at once. The fact that it is also quite easy to prepare, makes this dessert one of my favorite summertime treats.

In a large heatproof bowl, begin by separating your eggs. Keeping your yolks and setting aside the egg whites to use for another baking project (I like to make meringue with my leftovers).

Add the granulated sugar and whisk together until the ingredients are well incorporated. Next, add in both the lemon and the lime juice as well as the two zests and salt.

Whisk until you have a nice creamy looking mixture.

Meanwhile, fill the bottom of a medium saucepan with water (approx. 5 cm or 1-2"). You want enough water on the bottom of the saucepan so it will not evaporate to quickly, but also so that it does not touch the bottom of your heatproof bowl when it is set ontop. Bring the water to a boil and then lower the temperature so that you have a nice even simmer.

Set the bowl of egg yolk mixture on top. Keep heating and stirring the egg yolks with a whisk until the yolks start to thicken. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Do not give up if it does not start to thicken right away, just be patient, keep heating and keep whisking. Once you have a nice creamy mixture resembling hot runny custard, remove it from the heat and set it atop a large bowl of icewater to cool down.

As the mixture cools down, you will see it start to thicken. Keep letting it cool and mix from time to time until it has cooled completely. This will take 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, in an other large mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream until until stiff peaks form.

When your custard has cooled and your whipped cream has been made, carefully fold your whipped cream into your custard mixture using a rubber spatula.

Once the two have been well incorporated, line a loaf pan with plastic cling wrap (this makes it easier to remove the semifreddo once frozen). Carefully pour the custard and whipped cream mixture into the lined loaf pan. Using the rubber spatula, make sure to spread the mixture so that it is evenly distributed in the pan and has a nice flat surface. Fold the remaining cling wrap over top.

Place the loaf pan in the freezer and chill overnight.

Once your semifreddo has chilled. Prepare your final layer. In a medium bowl add the whipping cream and with an electric mixer beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract and beat some more until everything is well combined.

Invert the semifreddo onto a serving plate using the plastic wrap to help remove it from the pan. Decorate the top with the freshly prepared whipped cream by either using a piping bag or by simply spreading it in an even layer over top.

Pop your icecream loaf back into the freezer for 30-45 minutes until the whipped cream has hardened. Slice into 2cm (1") pieces to serve.

Any leftover semifreddo can be kept in the freezer for up to 4 days.

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