Total Time
6hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 6 hrs

Adapted from a recipe by Kerry Saretsky at Serious Eats.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place finely diced preserved lemon in a sieve and rinse very very well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Place preserved lemon in a sauce pan with lemon zest, water and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear. Drain through a sieve, retaining both syrup and solids.
  3. Beat the cream until just stiff. Set aside.
  4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy and just starting to mount. Drizzle in the syrup while running the mixer on medium-low. When the syrup is fully incorporated, turn speed up to high and beat until egg whites are glossy and doubled in volume, 5-6 minutes.
  5. Fold lemon solids carefully into egg whites, then fold in whipped cream. Line a loaf pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap, leaving some hanging over the edges, then gently spoon mousse into pan. Cover with overhanging plastic, and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, combine water, sugar and basil in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear. Cool to room temperature, then process in a blender until basil is shredded into fine flecks.
  7. When ready to serve, invert loaf pan onto a plate. Remove pan and plastic. Cut semifreddo into 1" thick slices and drizzle with basil syrup to serve.