Since not everyone own’s an ice cream maker, knowing how to make a simple semi freddo is a great skill for a home cook to have. Chef Sean Cutler’s variation on the Italian classic here sees fresh mint infused into the cream component of the recipe, but using aromatics like rosemary, lemon zest, cinnamon or even just a touch of vanilla can be just as rewarding.
On second thought, maybe just stick with the mint because if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably got more than you know what to do with growing in your garden!
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
½ cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
3 large eggs at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
¼ cup + ⅓ cup sugar
- Coarsely chop the mint leaves, and combine them with the heavy cream in a small saucepan.
- Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat, once it has simmered for a few min remove the pan from the heat.
- Cover it with a tight-fitting lid and let it sit for 15 min to help infuse the mint into the cream.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
- Once cold, whip the cream to stiff peaks and refrigerate it again.
- Place a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer. In a medium, heat-safe bowl combine the egg yolks and ¼ cup of sugar.
- Whisk the sugar and egg yolk together, then place the bowl over the pot of simmering water,
- Whisk the egg yolks until they have become light and thick, about 3-4 minutes.
- Set mixture aside to cool.
- Place the egg whites and ⅓ cup of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Fit the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the whites are hot to the touch. Again, about 3-4 minutes.
- Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Working in several batches, fold the egg whites into the yolks in 3 batches and then gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Pour into a plastic container or baking dish lined with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.
- The semifreddo can then be scooped out like ice cream.