This semifreddo is quite possibly the most elegant dessert I've ever created. The lemon and olive oil flavors just go so well together and the frozen, mousse-like texture is so luxurious. This might just be the ultimate, make-ahead summertime dessert. Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I have been a long time fan and avid user of their delicious line of products so it is a true honor to be partnering with them to bring you this lemon olive oil semifreddo recipe!
So what is a semifreddo?
A classic Italian dessert, Semifreddo means half-cold or half-frozen in Italian, and although this is totally frozen after 8 hours in the freezer, the combination of lemony olive oil custard, whipped mascarpone cream, and whipped egg whites gives it a light, ethereal texture straight out of the freezer. It's pretty much magic. Delicious magic. Once you try this lemon olive oil semifreddo recipe, I think you'll be hooked! And the flavor variations are only as limited as your imagination.
Olive Oil in a dessert, you say?
Yes! Absolutely. Olive Oil is so delicious in desserts, ice cream and gelato, baked goods, and paired with fruit. I chose to use Filippo Berio's Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this lemon semifreddo recipe because of its fresh, herbaceous aroma and intensely fruity flavor profile. Using organic ingredients is something I try to do as much as possible in my kitchen and I appreciate that Filippo Berio offers a certified organic option.
I sneak olive oil into the custard, the cream mixture, and into the crust! This semifreddo is truly a celebration of olive oil.
The extra virgin olive oil can really stand up to the lemon and vanilla flavors and it lends a fruity taste and luxuriously creamy texture and mouth-feel to this dessert. It is indescribably good! You'll just have to make it and see for yourself.
How do I make lemon olive oil semifreddo?
I've included step-by-step photos of the lemon olive oil semifreddo recipe process, as there are a few steps, but they are not difficult. You are essentially making a mousse, which involves three separate whipped mixtures that you will fold together at the end and freeze.
Here's what you will need:
- Eggs (whites and yolks separated)
- Filippo Berio organic extra virgin olive oil
- lemon juice and zest
- vanilla bean paste
- heavy cream
- mascarpone cheese (you could easily use cream cheese as a swap)
- almond biscotti
- toasted, sliced almonds
Optional almond crunch topping
If you want to be extra fancy, make this 2 ingredient almond crunch to top your semifreddo. It's just a quick, basic candy. Just combine sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes until deep amber color. Pour over toasted almonds and let cool to room temperature. It takes minutes to cool and trust me, you won't be able to stop snacking on it! I like to serve it and some crumbled biscotti alongside this semifreddo for a nice textural contrast to the silky creaminess.
Can semifreddo be made in advance?
Yes! This delightful dessert can be made days ahead! Just prep it and forget it until you're ready to pull it from the freezer and wow your family and friends. Trust me, there will be lots of ooh's and ahh's and compliments coming your way! And won't you feel so comforted knowing this is waiting in your freezer whenever the craving strikes?
Step-by-Step Semifreddo Recipe