Spumone di Fragole

Italian Strawberry Parfait

Areal childhood favorite for me. My original recipe is written in pencil in my dear mother’s handwriting on an old yellowed piece of card. I remember she always made it in a loaf pan.


  • cups fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry liqueur or very sweet balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons mascarpone or ricotta cheese
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened
  • with 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 large fresh strawberries, sliced, or 2 handfuls of wild strawberries, left whole


  1. Purée the whole strawberries by pushing them through a strainer into a bowl. Add the liqueur or vinegar.
  2. Stir in the mascarpone or ricotta, then add the lemon juice and mix. Fold the sweetened cream into this mixture, then gently sift in the confectioners’ sugar, folding it in very gradually and carefully.
  3. Finally, fold the sliced or wild strawberries through the mixture. Pour into a freezerproof container with a lid and freeze for about 2 hours, giving it a stir twice or three times during freezing to prevent any ice crystals from forming. Don’t worry if you end up with a few small crystals, the slightly gritty texture of this dessert is correct and typical.

To Serve

fresh strawberries

fresh mint leaves

strawberry liqueur or sweet, thick balsamic vinegar

Serving Suggestion

Dip the mold into boiling hot water for 10 seconds, then turn out onto a platter and slice into six portions. Place each slice on a plate with a few strawberries, a few mint leaves, and a drizzle of strawberry liqueur or sweet balsamic vinegar. If you can leave the dessert to stand for up to 15 minutes before serving, so much the better.