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Aunt Maria’s Strawberry Semifreddo

Blog e Ricette

Aunt Maria, the true guardian of the traditional cuisine, once taught me this recipe. I usually make it when I want to treat my guests with something special. Needless to say, that this dessert is also very requested among the members of our family. Once on the table, it is already over in no time. Children go crazy about it!

Cooking time: 40 minutes + marinating the strawberries + 4 h in the fridge

Ingredients for 6 portions


  • 500 g Strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • Lemon Juice


  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 4 tbsp. Caster Sugar
  • 4 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 500 ml Milk
  • Lemon Zest (yellow part only)
  • 1 Vanilla Pod (1 packet of vanillin)
  • 2 sheets Gelatin (isinglass)
  • 250 ml Fresh Cream
  • Vanilla Sugar
  • Pavesini Biscuits  ( 4 packets 11 biscuits each)

Filling preparation:

  1. Wash the strawberries and remove the greens. Cut the strawberries into small pieces. Put them into a bowl, adding 2 tbsp. of sugar and a bit of lemon juice.
  2. Stir well, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The strawberries have to release juice.

Custard preparation:

  1. Take a double-bottomed pot. Heat the milk, a piece of vanilla pod and a bit of lemon zest. Once the milk is hot, turn off the fire.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar. Add the flour gradually. The mixture has to be homogeneous, with no lumps. Keep on whisking. Add gradually the warm milk. Use a sieve to filter the mixture and pour it back into the pot that you used to heat the milk. Bring the mixture to boiling point over low heat, whisking it constantly. Once the mixture starts to boil, whisk it energetically for about 2 min in order to avoid lumps. When the custard thickens, turn off the fire.
  3. Dissolve the gelatin sheets in a bit of water. Squeeze and add them to the custard. Stir well until they get completely combined. Leave the custard to cool.
  4. Use a bowl to whip the cream with a bit of vanilla sugar. Leave it in the fridge.
  5. Once the custard gets cool, mix it gently with the whipped cream.

Dessert composition:

  1. Take a semifreddo mold, cover it from the inside with plastic wrap. Leave more plastic wrap on the edges. It will help to extract the dessert in the end.
  2. Drain the strawberries, separating the juice. Leave the juice and the strawberries apart.
  3. Take the Pavesini biscuits. Dip them quickly into the strawberry juice and cover the bottom and the sides of the mold with the biscuits. (If there is not enough juice, add 2-3 tbsp. of water into it).
  4. Cover the biscuits with half of the custard, then put out all the strawberries and finish it with one more layer of the custard. Cover the mold with the plastic wrap that you have on the edges. Leave the mold in the fridge at least for 4 hours.
  5. Once the dessert is ready, turn it upside down onto the serving plate. Remove the mold and the plastic wrap. Decorate with strawberries and whipped cream, if you wish.

Buon Appetito!

Important note:

Use mature strawberries. If they are not mature enough, they will not release enough juice.

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