Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most unforgettable. We love to experiment in the kitchen, and during the warmer months, this means our ice cream makers are in near-constant rotation with all manner of unusual flavors. But when we took our first nibble of this ridiculously easy and flavorful Pistachio Semifreddo, we were ready to tuck away our favorite appliance. For the rest of the spring and summer. It’s that good.
In Italy, the term semifreddo, which translates to “half cold,” is used for a variety of semifrozen desserts, from custards to fruit tarts. This Pistachio Semifreddo recipe blends the rich, satisfying creaminess of an ice cream with the light, whipped texture of a mousse. Add in the unmistakable sweet-savory crunch of pistachios and a hint of hazelnuts, and you have a crowd-pleasing dessert recipe that works for every occasion, from dressed-up dinner parties to summer brunch on the porch. Make it for Mother’s Day—served with a vase of flowers and some pretty linen napkins [http://freshamerican.annieselke.com/c/FATABLE] —and we guarantee this is the gift she’ll ask for year after year.
Try this Pistachio Semifreddo scooped into bowls and garnished with mint, a bit of sugar in the raw, or wafer cookies; packed into ice cream cones; on top of waffles, and drizzled with dark-chocolate sauce; or squished between shortbread cookies for the ultimate ice cream sandwich. Is it a health-conscious, low-cal treat? That’s a definite no. But it is incredibly, mouthwateringly addictive.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
By Sarah Bessette
1 1/2 cups shelled, roasted and salted pistachios, plus 1/2 cup extra for garnish
1 cup cane sugar
6 egg whites
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon hazelnut liquor or extract
- In a high-powered blender, pulse the 1 1/2 cups pistachios with 3/4 cup of the sugar.
- In a bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they form peaks. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar on high until a meringue forms.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream and hazelnut extract until slightly stiff.
- Add the pistachio mixture and the egg mixture to the cream mixture and combine gently with a wooden spoon until well blended. Spoon the mixture into a freezer-safe dish, and chill for at least 5 hours.
- Spoon the chilled semifreddo (it will have the appearance of a semifrozen mousse, rather than a hard ice cream) into bowls or waffle cones, and garnish with the extra pistachios before serving.