Looking for an ice-cream alternative? Then pistachio semifreddo is for you! A delightful dessert that will surely get you hooked — it’s delicious, addictive and so easy to prepare. You might end up preparing it the entire summer!
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Pistachio semifreddo = Taormina.
Yep, my love for pistachio semifreddo started on our Sicilian trip, back in 2015. I guess that’s not a surprise since the best pistachios are from Bronte. (Nope, not the sisters. :D)
Bronte is a small town in the foothills of Mt. Etna, in Sicily. The minerals and lava from the earth is what makes their pistachios unique — surprisingly sweet and soft.
The entire time we were in Taormina (for almost a week), my after-dinner dessert was pistachio semifreddo. Didn’t matter where, as soon as we sat down, that was the first thing I checked on the menu.
So, it’s no surprise that I now make it regularly in Stockholm.
HOW TO MAKE PISTACHIO SEMIFREDDO
WHAT IS SEMIFREDDO?
The literal translation from Italian is ‘half cold‘.
Better to think of it as a ‘semi-frozen‘ dessert.
I always see it as somewhere between a mousse and an ice cream, so, the texture is more like frozen mousse.
The best part, no special equipment required!
DO I REALLY NEED TO INFUSE THE PISTACHIOS FOR THIS SEMIFREDDO RECIPE?
Unless you are using Sicilian pistachios, I find that the only way I can intensify the taste of pistachios is by infusing them into the cream for at least 30 minutes.
Try leaving it for an hour and you will notice a deeper greenish tint on the semifreddo as well.
CAN I USE LIQUOR FOR SEMIFREDDO DESSERT?
I have used amaretto a couple of times, so don’t be wary of using your favorite liquor too.
Just keep in mind that it might add up to the overall sweetness, so make sure you adjust the sugar accordingly.
TIPS ON MAKING THIS SEMIFREDDO RECIPE:
- Toast the pistachios. Aside from infusing them into the cream, this will give you a deeper pistachio flavor.
- You can use either vanilla extract or almond extract. I find that both works well for this recipe.
- Feel free to use ramekins. Just line them up with a plastic wrap before spooning the pistachio mixture. This will help you in removing the whole thing for serving.
- Before placing them in the freezer, cover the top of the tins/ramekins with a plastic wrap. This will prevent ice crystals from forming on top.
HOW DO I SERVE PISTACHIO SEMIFREDDO DESSERT?
Sprinkling then with chopped pistachios is my go-to way of serving this semifreddo recipe.
However, for special occasions (or more drama), you can never go wrong with melted dark chocolate.
Just melt the chocolate in the microwave and then pour (or drizzle) them on the semifreddo. YUM!
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NOTE: This post was initially published on December, 2016. Video and new photos are now added, as well as more recipe tips.
- 1 & 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 medium egg whites
- 1 cup heavy cream (or double cream)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond extract)
- 200 grams dark chocolate, optional
- Toast the pistachios and chop them coarsely.
- Combine double cream with 1 cup chopped pistachios. Mix and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the cream with pistachios from the refrigerator and strain the pistachios. Set the pistachios aside.
- Add vanilla extract into the cream. Whip the cream.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites while slowly adding the sugar. Beat until the egg whites become stiff and glossy.
- Fold the egg whites into the whipped cream, in batches. Fold to mix until you have added and combined all the egg whites.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours.
- Remove from the tin and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios.
- For this recipe, I use 12 of the semi-sphere molds. Each semi-sphere has got about 2 tablespoons of semifreddo mixture. A 2-lb tin can also be used.
- Do not skip the steps for toasting and infusing the pistachios into the cream.These will provide more depth to the pistachio flavor.
- You can use any size of ramekins that you want to form your semifreddo.Do not forget to line it with a plastic wrap before spooning the semifreddo mixture. When it’s ready for serving, just pull the edges of the plastic wrap to remove the semifreddo.
- Make sure you put a plastic wrap on top of the tin before you place it in the freezer. This will prevent ice crystals from forming on top.