Seasonal Recipe

Recipe for rum-raisin semifreddo

Valerie Ryan for The Boston Globe/Valerie Ryan

Serves 8

Semifreddo is ice cream’s sophisticated cousin, known for its light creaminess and rich flavor. Dark rum-soaked raisins elevate the already lofty indulgence to heavenly status. Make this delightful treat in a loaf pan, no ice cream machine required. It does use a lot of bowls, however.

¾cup raisins, coarsely chopped
½cup dark rum
½cup whole milk
1cinnamon stick
cups heavy cream
1teaspoon vanilla extract
½cup sugar
6egg yolks

1. Set the bowl and beaters of an electric mixer in the freezer to chill. Have on hand an instant-read thermometer and a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.

2. In a small bowl, soak raisins in ¼ cup of the rum for at least 2 hours; set aside.

3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, gently heat the milk and cinnamon stick until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


4. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, using the chilled bowl and beaters, whip the cream, vanilla, and ¼ cup of the sugar until it holds stiff peaks. Refrigerate.

5. Prepare an ice bath in a large heatproof bowl.

6. In another heatproof bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup rum and ¼ cup sugar. Remove and discard the cinnamon from the milk. Add the milk to the egg yolk mixture.

7. In a large saucepan, bring several inches of water to a low boil. Set the bowl with the yolk mixture on the saucepan so the bowl is not in contact with the water.

8. Using an electric handheld mixer on medium speed or a whisk, beat the yolk mixture, checking the temperature often and scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is pale yellow and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (170 degrees on the thermometer). Lift the bowl off the boiling water and transfer to the ice bath. Continue beating on medium speed until mixture is cold to the touch. Fold in the raisins.


9. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture until well mixed. Pour into the loaf pan; cover loosely with plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 5 hours or for as long as overnight.

10. Scoop the semifreddo into cups for serving.

Valerie Ryan