Saffron Semifreddo with Citrus Compote

For this semifreddo you don’t have to make custard. I thought that I would give you another variation. The ice cream will be quite light with this recipe.


  • few strands of saffron
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 70 g (2 oz/ cup) sugar
  • 500 ml (16 fl oz/2 cups) thick cream

For the Grapefruit Compote

  • 1 kg (2 lb) grapefruit
  • 200 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) water
  • 150 g (5 oz/ cup) sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 3 tbsp liqueur, Verveine (lemon verbena), for example


Place saffron threads in a tablespoon of warm water and allow to soak briefly. Line a cake tin leaving excess plastic wrap hanging over the edges, as it will have to cover the ice cream later. In the meantime beat the egg yolk with the sugar into a creamy mixture. Add the saffron and stir.

Beat the cream until nearly stiff. Whisk the egg whites until stiff in another bowl with a pinch of salt. Fold the egg yolk into the whipped cream and then, carefully add the cream mixture to the egg whites. Gently pour the mixture into the mould and fold the plastic wrap over it. Place in the freezer.

Prepare the Compote

Place a grapefruit on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut away, from top to bottom, the peel and the white underneath. Move to the next section until the entire grapefruit is peeled. Over a bowl, remove the pulp from the sections, the juice will be collected in the bowl. Repeat for all of the grape-fruit. In a saucepan heat the water, sugar and lemon juice. With a sharp knife, remove the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mixture. Also add the empty bean, which you will later remove. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to cook until you have a syrup, (about 7 minutes). Add the grapefruit sections and the liqueur and leave the compote to cool until used. Prior to serving, remove the ice cream from the mould. Slice and serve with the compote.