Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries

I recently subscribed to Bon Appetit, and have come across a number of recipes I wanted to try out. This recipe was in the June issue: Meyer Lemon Semifreddo with Summer Berries.

At lunch on Friday I drove past a strawberry farm, and even though I was on the opposite side of the street, the strawberries were so fragrant they were making my mouth water. I decided that on my way back I would stop and buy some. When I got there, everything looked and smelled so wonderful, I wound up buying a three-pack of strawberries, and a small basket of blackberries.

The berries were clearly picked when fully ripe, and would need to be eaten soon. I shared with my co-workers (who could smell them from their desks), and they were perfect! I decided it was time to try this recipe.

I've never had Meyer Lemons before, nor have I seen them in the store. From what I understand they taste like a cross between a mandarin orange and a regular lemon, making them slightly sweeter, and less intensly sour. I've read that using regular lemons when Meyer lemons are called for can lead to an overly sour dish. I love a light lemon flavor, but I'm not a big fan of sour, so I was a little cautious.

But after reading through some of the reviews, in which a few people stated they'd used regular lemons and the desert still came out delicious, I decided to just give it a try. Worst case scenario: the semifreddo is too sour, and I put the berries on something else.

I used regular lemons, but less zest than called for. I had some really juicy lemons, so it didn't take many, and the zest from those only gave me maybe 3/4 tbsp., so that's what I used. I also skipped the sugar on the berries, because my berries were so amazing, and I figured if I needed to, I could always add it in.

The semifreddo filled an entire bread pan before the berries - there was no way Bobby and I would be able to eat this alone. So I brought it with us to his parents' house yesterday - they can all help me eat it, right?

While I had a slice myself, no one else got around to trying it out yesterday, so I left it there assuming we could have it today. At around 9pm I got a text message from Bobby's mom: "Semifreddo - yum!" Then this morning his sister-in-law calls: Oh my god, it's so good I've had two servings in the last hour, you must give me the recipe!

Yeah! It's a hit! Tonight we had more, along with a Rose Spumante from Ponte Winery. Lovely on a hot day like today.

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