This triple strawberry semifreddo uses fresh or frozen strawberries and strawberry jam for an extra burst of strawberry flavor. For a show stopping presentation, top it with a sweet strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries.
I will show you how to make the egg white meringue safe to eat if you don’t have pasteurized eggs, and I will explain why I didn’t use the egg yolks.
What is Semifreddo
Semifreddo, which translates to ‘half cold’ in Italian, is a chilled dessert that sits somewhere between ice cream and mousse.
It combines two primary ingredients – a flavorful custard and a fluffy meringue.
Unlike traditional ice cream, it doesn’t require an ice cream maker or constant churning to achieve its fluffy, velvety texture. Also, semifreddo often has various mix-ins like nuts, chocolate, fruit, or liqueurs for added flavor. The result is a smooth, airy dessert that makes the perfect end to any meal.
Here is Why This Recipe Works
You can make semifreddo with egg yolks, egg whites, or both. I made our cappuccino semifreddo with egg yolks to get a super rich dessert that complemented the espresso flavors. That same technique didn’t work as well with the light strawberry flavor in this recipe.
When I tested this strawberry semifreddo recipe with egg yolks, the flavor of the strawberries took a backseat. Instead, I chose to use egg whites only. Egg whites are not as rich as yolks and help the flavor of the strawberries shine through in each bite. (You can save the yolks for a rich lemon curd).
The strawberry jam gives the semifreddo an extra punch of strawberry flavor, and the pectin in the jam helps prevent excess ice crystals from forming. It’s a trick I used in our strawberry popsicles.
The Ingredients (you can use fresh or frozen strawberries)
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
- Strawberries. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, just make sure they are ripe.
- Strawberry jam. I used homemade strawberry jam with extra chunks of strawberries. Since strawberries have a lot of water in them, the pectin in the jam helps prevent ice crystals.
- Lemon juice.
- Egg whites. If you use pasteurized egg whites, read the notes in the recipe card. Otherwise, I will walk you through how to pasteurize the whites.
- Sugar. Use regular granulated white sugar.
- Heavy cream.
- Vanilla extract.
How to Make Strawberry Cream Semifreddo
Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
- Make the strawberry puree by blending the strawberries and jam in a blender or food processor.
- Whisk the egg whites with the sugar over a double boiler. When they get warm, remove them from the heat and whisk on high speed until they reach stiff peaks.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla until you see stiff peaks.
- Fold the strawberry puree into the whipped cream.
- Fold the whipped egg whites into the strawberry whipped cream.
- Transfer the semifreddo to a chilled pan and layer it with dollops of strawberry jam.
- While the strawberry cream semifreddo chills in the freezer, make the strawberry topping to serve over the dessert.
Tips for Success
- Chill your mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator or freezer before you whip the cream. This will help you whip the cream to its highest volume.
- Be gentle when you fold the strawberry puree into the whipped cream (and the egg whites into that mixture). You want to preserve as much of the airy texture as possible. Overmixing can deflate the mixture.
- If you want to skip the step with the double boiler, you can purchase pasteurized egg whites.
- Freeze the semifreddo for at least 8 hours or overnight to give it time to set properly.
- Cool the strawberry compote completely before spooning it over the semifreddo.
- Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap to make it easier to unmold the semifreddo.
- Use a stand mixer or an electric hand-held mixer to whip the cream and egg whites to soft peaks.
This strawberry semifreddo is a versatile dessert that pairs well with a variety of flavors. It tastes great with the strawberry compote, but here are some more ideas.
- Top it with a drizzle of easy chocolate sauce and toasted coconut flakes.
- Add a crunch to each bite by stirring chopped pistachios or almonds into the semifreddo. Or, for a nut-free crunch, use our strawberry cookie crunch.
- Add lemon or orange zest to the semifreddo mixture for a citrusy twist.
- For an adult version, add a splash of Grand Marnier, Limoncello, or even a fruity rosé wine to the strawberry puree.
Transfer the semifreddo to an airtight, freezer-safe container to help protect it from freezer burn.
More Chilled or Frozen Desserts
We’ve put together a list of some super chill desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you cool. From intensely flavored passion fruit ice cream to a fun and kid-friendly cookie monster ice cream, there’s a chilled dessert for everyone.
- Lemon Ice Box Cake
- Strawberries with Marsala and Sweetened Ricotta
- Chocolate Raspberry Tart
- Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream
- 31 Cool Summer Dessert Ideas
Frequently Asked Questions
Ice cream and semifreddo are frozen desserts, but they differ in preparation, texture, and serving style. Traditional ice cream is churned to create a smooth, dense texture. On the other hand, semifreddo is not churned but made by combining whipped cream and meringue, resulting in a lighter, mousse-like texture.
Yes, semifreddo is a frozen dessert. However, it’s typically served slightly softer than other frozen treats like ice cream, hence the name semifreddo, which translates from Italian to “half frozen.”
Remove the semifreddo from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving for the perfect texture. This allows it to soften slightly, resulting in a creamy, mousse-like consistency. It’s this softer, less frozen texture that sets Semifreddo apart from other frozen desserts.
More Recipes You Will Love
Connect With Savor the Best:
Please follow us on our social media accounts
Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below.
For the Strawberry Puree
- 10 ounces strawberries, fresh (or frozen and thawed)
- 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
For the Semifreddo
- 4 egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1-¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup strawberry jam
For the Strawberry Compote
- 1 pound strawberries, fresh or frozen
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and freeze the pan so it gets cold.
Make the Strawberry Puree
- Place the strawberries, jam, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (Add additional sugar or jam if your berries are not very sweet)
Make the Semifreddo
- Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the egg whites, ½ cup of sugar, and salt in a heat proof mixing bowl (save ¼ cup sugar for the whipped cream). Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water but don’t let the bowl touch the water.
- Whisk the egg whites by hand until the mixture reaches 150°F. Don’t let the mixing bowl get too hot, this process should take about 10 minutes. When the egg whites reach 150°F, remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until they reach stiff peaks. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whisk with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form then sprinkle in ¼ cup sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the strawberry puree into the whipped cream using a wide spatula. Add ⅓ of the whipped egg whites to the mixture and stir gently until well incorporated. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped whites.
- Pour half of the mixture into the chilled loaf pan. Add half of the jam in large dollops and swirl into the semifreddo mixture. Add the rest of the semifreddo mixture then swirl in the rest of the jam. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours.
Make the Strawberry Compote
- Slice the strawberries in half or in quarters and place them strawberries in saucepan along with the sugar, lemon, and salt. Smash a few of the strawberries with a fork to break them up (keep some of them in large chunks) and cook the mixture over medium heat.
- Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the strawberries break down and release their juices. Continue cooking over a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes until it looks slightly thick and chunky.
- Let the strawberry sauce cool completely.
- To remove the semifreddo from the loaf pan, wrap a warm cloth around the pan for about 30 seconds. The warm cloth will loosen the semifreddo and you can invert it on a chilled plate, remove the pan, and discard the plastic wrap.
- Top with the strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries.
- Whisking the egg whites over a double boiler (setting the mixing bowl over boiling water) will pasteurize them and make them safe to eat. You can skip this step if you purchase pasteurized egg whites.
- If you use pasteurized egg whites, whisk the eggs until foamy, then slowly sprinkle in the sugar while whisking on high speed. Continue whisking until they reach stiff peaks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 204mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 48gSugar: 49gProtein: 9g