It’s a little strange for a me to be without an ice cream maker, especially considering the name of this blog and the fact that it’s coming into the warmer months. But I suppose it’s the perfect opportunity to make lemonade from these here lemons and experiment with frozen treats that don’t need any special equipment. At least until I save up for my new Cuisinart baby! Semifreddo is the perfect introduction, meaning ‘half cold’ in Italian.
It is basically a frozen mousse, where egg yolks are whisked over heat with sugar until pale and thick, and then folded into gently whipped cream. It’s simpler than making a custard base for ice cream, that’s for sure! And like ice cream, the flavour combinations are virtually endless. A splash of booze, some fruit swirled through, it’s really up to you how you choose to flavour your semifreddo.
I decided to go with a Middle Eastern inspired dessert using rose water, Turkish delight, pistachios and pashmak, and I’ve got to say, it was delicious! The one thing I have noticed with semifreddo compared to ice cream is that any ‘mix ins’ don’t seem to distribute as nicely, and sometimes sink to the bottom since the mixture is not as thick as ice cream to keep them suspended throughout. But when set into a loaf shape and cut into slices it hardly matters at all.
I loved how creamy it was, and the subtle rose flavour was really lovely. Add to that crunchy pistachios and sticky, chewy Turkish delight, this dessert was a winner. It would also be beautiful with some raspberries thrown in. While I can’t deny that a new ice cream maker is definitely on the Christmas wish list, I’ll happily enjoy making and eating semifreddo in the meantime.
Turkish Delight and Pistachio Semifreddo
Adapted from Fruits and Vegetables
• 4 egg yolks
• 1 egg
• 100g sugar
• 400ml whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon rosewater
• 100g Turkish Delight, cut into 1cm cubes
• 50g unsalted, shelled pistachios
• Pashmak, optional, to serve
In a heatproof glass bowl, combine egg yolks, egg and sugar. Place bowl over a double boiler and whisk constantly until mixture is pale and thick. Remove from the heat and set aside. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, and fold gently into egg mixture. Mix in the rosewater.
Cover the inside of a rectangular loaf pan with plastic wrap and then pour in the egg mixture. Freeze for about 30 minutes before gently mixing in the Turkish Delight and pistachios. Freeze for an additional 4-6 hours, or overnight.
When frozen, take out of the freezer and remove plastic wrap. Cut into slices and serve on plates with pashmak.