Semifreddo means “half-cold” in Italian and it sometimes has either meringue or cream. I haven’t invested in an ice cream maker which is probably not too far off in the horizon, but this dessert doesn’t require one. It is like a frozen mousse or custard. I wanted to feature the beautiful strawberries that grow locally here in Carlsbad. The trickiest part is getting the egg yolks warm and frothy without scrambling them, so you have to be willing to get your whisking arm in shape. A friend suggested I roast the strawberries with a little balsamic vinegar which added a nice depth of flavor to the I scream and the sauce. This recipe was adapted from fine cooking.

Perfect dessert featuring fresh local strawberries from the Carlsbad Strawberry Company

Yield 8 slices


for semifreddo:

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks plus 1 large egg
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for sauce serving:

  • 1-1/2 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 4 cups)
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


for semifreddo:

Line an 8-1/2×4-1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Toss strawberries in balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of sugar. Spread out on baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a bowl to cool along with reserved cooking juices.

Put the egg yolks, whole egg, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar a medium heavy bottom sauce pan and whisk until well combined and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the prepared roasted strawberry mixture and whisk to combine. Set the saucepan over a medium- low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and leaves a trail when you lift the whisk, 3 to 4 minutes. Set the bowl in an ice bath and whisk occasionally until cool, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, use a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla and beat until medium peaks form (about 2 minutes). Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing surface and covering with plastic, and freeze for at least 6 hours and up to overnight

for sauce:

Heat strawberries, sugar and balsamic in a saucepan on medium heat until strawberries breakdown a bit and juices release. Remove semifreddo from freezer, slice in tranches and serve with sauce on top. Enjoy!!