Sugar syrup beaten into egg yolks creates an especially airy, mousse like ice cream called a semifreddo. In Italy, semifreddi are fashionable in both the gelateria and the upscale restaurants. Here it has a lovely flowery herb overtone from the Italian liqueur Strega. If you can’t find Strega, use sambuca for an anise scent or Grand Marnier for a brandied orange infusion.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ¼, cup water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- ¼, cup Strega, sambuca, or Grand Marnier
Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the temperature reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow. Continuing to beat the egg yolks on medium speed, slowly pour in the sugar syrup in a fine, steady stream.
Beat until the mixture cools to room temperature, about 7 minutes. Stir in the zest and half-and-half.
Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.
When ready to freeze, stir in the cream. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When the ice cream is almost frozen, spoon in the Strega and churn until blended in, about 1 minute more.
Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.