Lemon Semifreddo with Blueberries

This is the first ice cream I’ve ever made if you don’t count frozen popsicles and it’s way more delicious. It’s a rich treat that is bursting with lemon and sweet goodness. Lemon Semifreddo with Blueberries defines how to enjoy a frozen dessert during the hot summer with crisp lemons and fresh sweet blueberries. My family also loved it with Chai making “mm MMM” noises when he first tried it (music to a chef’s ears!) I hope you will also enjoy making eating this very tasty dessert this summer! 😊

Yield: 10 servings
Time: 20 minutes + 8 hours freezing time

Ingredients

  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Finely grated peel of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ¾ cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 cups blueberries

Instructions

  1. Line a metal loaf pan (9x5x3 inches) with plastic wrap and leave enough wrap hanging outside the pan. Spread the walnuts on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, set a metal bowl on top and whisk sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel, and sea salt inside for approximately 7 minutes or until the egg mixture turns thick and creamy.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk egg mixture in an electric mixer for 6 minutes on medium-high speed or until double the volume. Set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold heavy cream into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the metal pan, cover the pan, and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Using the plastic wrap that was hanging outside the pan, gently place the semifreddo upside down onto a large plate. Serve immediately decorated with blueberries.

Fruitful Summer Gardens

There’s something really special about keeping your own garden.

Summer has already ended and it’s already well into Fall! Time really flies! I wanted to create a post about my mother’s summer gardens before it was too late!

I remember we had our first garden when I was in middle school. We had purchased a house with a small plot of land in Scarsdale, NY. There was really not much of a backyard at this house compared to all the other houses we’ve lived in. However, my mom turned this small plot of land to a garden where we could enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. I fondly remember she grew tomatoes whenever she had a garden. It was part of a foundation in keeping her gardens and may be related to her Italian history.

The house we are currently living in has a much bigger backyard which meant more gardens and delicious things to eat! My mother has set up at least 4 gardens and a vineyard in our backyard. I’ve gifted her several rose plants in the past but they never managed to survive. I would joke that my mother has a green thumb only when it comes to food. However, we do have beautiful peonies, tulips and other flowers blooming in the Spring and Summer. She grows various tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, all kinds of pumpkins, squash, eggplants, parsley, basil, rosemary, lettuce, perilla leaves, shiso leaves, mustard leaves, kale, and more every year! There was even a summer where she grew corn but we didn’t get to try any because the wild animals ate them all before we could. My mother never uses pesticides or any kind of treatment so all the produce is organic, fresh, and delicious. There’s nothing more delicious than eating freshly picked and washed vegetables and fruits from my mother’s gardens. My mother’s Italian tomato sauce is also much more delicious when made with the tomatoes from her garden! There is a small downside to keeping an organic garden with no treatments which is getting bit by mosquitoes and all sorts of bugs. I’ve gotten bit at least twice while trying to take photos of her garden earlier this Summer and my mother gets bit every time she goes out to pick anything.

IMG_0495 (2)Unripe tomatoes and cucumbers earlier this Summer.

IMG_0498 (2)We enjoyed a lot of fresh tomatoes this year!

IMG_0500 (2)This poor sakura tree was overwhelmed by all the cucumbers and pumpkins!

IMG_0501 (2)The sakura tree has become a cucumber tree during the Summer!

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Some of the cucumbers were too high to reach!

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We also enjoyed a lot of various pumpkins this Summer!

IMG_0508 (2)There’s even more tomatoes in her other gardens.

IMG_0510 (2)This is the vineyard my mother set up many years ago.

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You can see some grapes!

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We always have too many perilla and shiso leaves. We never have to buy any during the Summer and give a lot of them away to friends.

IMG_0521 (2)This is another large garden which I nicknamed, “The Mini Jungle.” It’s also where we get bit the most by bugs.

IMG_0523 (2)There’s so many vegetables growing here, it’s hard to pick a place to start!

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IMG_0526 (2)These gardens have overflown even more since I took these photos in the early Summer. Now that it’s Fall, they’ve calmed down a lot.

The greatest happiness of keeping a garden is really seeing the joy on my mother’s face when she picks the fruits of her labor after all her hard work in maintaining the gardens! What’s also great about my mother and her gardens is that she always shares her fruits and vegetables with her friends and guitar students!

Do you keep a garden? I hope you have fond memories of warm Summers with loved ones and eating fresh produce as well!