5 Ingredients or Fewer

Brad Spence's Salted Butter Semifreddo

July 30, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This is an anytime, any season pantry frozen treat -- no ice cream machine required. Spence serves it year-round at Amis in Philadelphia, on blueberry tarts and in hot fudge sundaes, over spiced pound cake and yeasted waffles, and blended into maple milkshakes. Adapted from Amis Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA. Note: The eggs in this recipe aren't cooked. Just buy them from a trustworthy source -- Spence's come from Green Meadow Farm in Gap, PA -- or you can use pasteurized eggs. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 8 egg yolks + 4 egg whites, divided (save remaining 4 egg whites for another use)
  • 3/4 cup
    2 tablespoons sugar (175 grams)

  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate wafers, for serving (optional)
  • Jam, for serving (optional)
  1. Melt butter, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Cream egg yolks and sugar until they become light, creamy, and fluffy. While mixing, drizzle cooled butter into sugar-egg yolk mixture.
  3. Fold salt into sugar-egg yolk mixture.
  4. Whisk heavy cream to medium-to-stiff peaks and fold into sugar-egg yolk mixture.
  5. Whisk egg whites to peaks and fold into semifreddo mixture. Pour into a container, cover tightly, and freeze for several hours or overnight to set.
  6. Serve in scoops, topped with crumbled chocolate wafers and jam, if desired. This semifreddo will keep for two to three days tightly sealed in the freezer -- after this it will start to break down.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Joshua jording
    Joshua jording
  • mj.landry
  • essbee
  • Jenny Maria
    Jenny Maria
  • LuceyGirl
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

34 Reviews

GeorgiannaN August 29, 2016
Has anyone tried this in an icecream maker?
mercurycode August 13, 2015
Courtney Lapresi shared this recipe on her facebook and for that I am eternally grateful. Made this three days ago and my parents and friends just loved it. The creaminess and salty flavour are so unusual to what I know but it's so decadent. Very glad I came across this, won't be the last time I made it!
Thank you.
Elina March 26, 2015
What could be the measure for I stick butter? In Grams preferably.
burns W. March 26, 2015
Joshua J. July 7, 2014
This, this is a dangerous recipe. Be forewarned of it's deliciousness; the legends were true.
mj.landry November 7, 2013
Ooops...just scrolling down the comments and see that others already did the browned butter method :-)
mj.landry November 7, 2013
I bet this would be good also with browned butter...it would give it a nutty salty flavor!
essbee September 7, 2013
Has anyone made half a batch? If so, were you successful?
[email protected] September 7, 2013
I made a half batch and it was perfect. In fact, the ice cream is so rich it served 8. I served it with shaved 85% dark chocolate and a lady finger to counterbalance the sweetness. Very nice. I added just a touch more salt as I thought it could handle it.
essbee September 12, 2013
Thank you!
Jenny M. August 29, 2013
Made it today, and love it. I made browned butter and used saltede butter, added no salt
[email protected] August 18, 2013
Made it and experienced love. Might add a tad more salt for my dinner party. Trial runs are a must.
[email protected] August 17, 2013
Is it best to use cold eggs or room temperature?
Kristen M. August 17, 2013
Egg whites tend to whip more easily at room temperature (and cream whips better cold) -- that said, I've made this with eggs straight out of the fridge and it worked just fine.
LuceyGirl August 4, 2013
This ice cream turned out beautifully. The depth if flavour, consistency and how scoop-able it was - well this will become a staple in our freezers. On its own or paired with warm butter tart filling drizzled over the top, this recipe is divine.
Yelena August 3, 2013
I was surprised, though I guess I should not have been, by how buttery this ice cream tasted. I would not recommend eating it on its own; the buttery taste is too rich. It does not come off as a refreshing treat on a hot summer day, but instead as a delightful addition to a prepared dessert or certain breakfast items. Serving it on pound cake, pancakes, or waffles is a good alternative I've found.

Otherwise, a very easy and quick recipe to make.
burns W. August 4, 2013
I agree.Its insanely rich and decadent. I would entreat the creator to think in terms of weight. The one stick +2tbs butter I believe works out to 180g. A couple of other thoughts: an equal weight of semisweet chocolate melted with the butter would give..... and also I did not have unsalted butter, but using salted butter and no additional salt worked well. I am intrigued by the chemistry of it. So the whipped egg whites, the whipped egg yolk & sugar are responsible for it not tightening into a solid mass? Could this technique be then used for other ices? like lighter sorbets without the butter? OR is the butter necessary for the emulsification the same way it is in a hollandaise?
EBCornell August 3, 2013
What size container should you use? I'd imagine the depth of the vessel will have an effect on how it sets up, but the recipe doesn't indicate a specific container size.
Kristen M. August 5, 2013
I've used a loaf pan and an 8x8 cake pan (both metal) -- both worked well. I think a resealable plastic container could be good too, though you may want to make sure it's in a shallow layer, since plastic won't transfer the chill as quickly as a metal pan does.
burns W. August 1, 2013
Looks wonderful. Cant wait to try it. A great compliment to what I already do super easy: toss fruit in the freezer. When frozen, puree and add a touch of yogurt and some maple syrup/honey/agave to taste
Jessica M. July 31, 2013
If using a single stand mixer, what is the best order of operations for whipping each ingredient?
katespreen July 31, 2013
I love the idea of browning the butter in this ice cream and, without even trying it yet, will most definitely add this to my list of my favorites.
I ran into a glitch last week where my ice cream maker "froze up" (no pun intended). I had prepared a custard-based lemon mix, placed it in a stainless steel bowl, put it in the freezer and about every 20-25 minutes I vigorously whisked the mixture, with the bowl still in the freezer, until it reached a thick consistency. (This took a couple of hours.) I then creamed it with an emulsifier (optional), and kept freezing it and whisking it became more creamy and had a churned-like texture. It definitely took a lot of baby-sitting, but it was a very successful workaround, which resulted in a beautiful lemon ginger cookie ice cream. No ice cream machine required.
Irenew July 31, 2013
Could this be made of salted butter without adding the salt in the receipe?
Kristen M. July 31, 2013
Sure thing, but you might want to adjust the salt to taste.
mimi July 31, 2013
Can this recipe be made using a sugar substitute like Splenda?
Kristen M. July 31, 2013
Apparently Splenda won't cream with butter in the same way sugar will, so it will probably have a different texture -- but maybe the eggs and cream would make up for that.
Cheryl B. July 31, 2013
Looks delicious! I've been looking for an ice cream recipe that doesn't include an ice cream maker. So, 6-8 servings: how big is a serving–1/2 cup? Also, I'm thinking of making a half recipe. Will simply halving everything work?
Kristen M. July 31, 2013
Halving should work just fine -- and I would say this serves 6 to 8 rather generously, since it's pretty rich (more like 1 cup servings).
Deanna July 31, 2013
Can't wait to try