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Semifreddo with Mandarin Oranges and Biscuits

8 Servings

20 minutes Plus freezing

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Serradura, a dessert that originated in Portugal and is popular in Macau, is made by layering whipped cream sweetened with condensed milk and pulverized Marie biscuits (serradura translates as “sawdust”). It inspired this frozen sweet that looks impressive but is a breeze to make. We keep the biscuits mostly whole and layer them in a pan with fruit-studded cream; after freezing, the “pudding” is cut into slices that reveal a mosaic-like design. For serving, you can invert the semifreddo onto a platter or slice it directly in the pan; if too firm to cut, let it soften for a few minutes at room temperature.



20 minutes

Plus freezing


  • 1

    cup cold heavy cream

  • cup sweetened condensed milk

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Rosanna M.

We have several gluten-sensitive family members. Can you suggest a gluten free substitute for the Marie cookies? Also, can fresh mandarins be used instead of canned? Looking forward to making this for outdoor summer gatherings, now that we can gather again.

Lynn C.

Hi Rosanna -

Since we haven't tested this recipe with a gluten-free cookie or fresh mandarins we can't say for sure how it might work with those substitutions. We would recommend trying it with a gluten-free cookie first and keeping the canned mandarins as is so you can gauge how the cookies hold up before making additional changes that might affect the texture. If you haven't tried them, Marie biscuits are sort of similar to an animal cracker or a graham cracker (though, obviously, a graham cracker has graham flour flavor) so we would probably start by looking for a gluten-free cookie that is similar in texture and flavor. Good luck!

The Milk Street Team

Jenni L.

Stiff peaks? I’ve been beating the whipping cream with sweetened condensed milk quite a while, and I don’t see stiff peaks getting closer.

Jenni L.

Never did get stiff peaks. Instead the cream broke down. Made it anyway. I noticed the texture, but no one minded.