So I'm in a quandry at the moment. I can't decide whether it's summer or autumn here. I'm aching to bring back all the autumnal flavours into my kitchen but it's still so warm outside and our Indian summer prevails. Whilst we're floating around in little summer dresses and rewarding ourselves with back to school ice cream treats, it seems only fitting to make something light, cool and summery. I mean, who knows how long this weather will last?
Semifreddo is such a delicious sweet ice cream treat. This Orange Blossom, Raspberry & Pistachio Semifreddo is totally indulgent with the rich double cream but with the addition of raspberries and pistachios to cut through this and an accent of orange blossom honey with its sweetness. I think something that has this much cream in it should feel heavy but it's simply not. I realised when deciding upon my flavours for this, that raspberries and pistachios seem to be a common theme in my baking of late, but I'm clinging on to these gorgeous little berries as long as possible before I begin switching them for apples and pumpkin! I am smitten by their colour in baking 💕
The base of the semifreddo is similar to making Italian meringue -- creating a sugar syrup (this ones adds the honey to the sugar and water) and adding it to the whisked egg whites. I usually use a sugar thermometer for making the meringue but not in this recipe so it makes it simpler for those of you without this kitchen gadget! I've tried lining my tins with greaseproof paper and clingfilm and really do suggest clingfilm as the best option for semifreddo. It's just much easier to remove it from the tin when you're ready to serve it.
This is gorgeous and showcases simply my favourite colours in baking. I've garnished the slices with mint leaves above (completely optional) and some extra raspberries and pistachios. You may even add a drizzle of honey if you want to be completely indulgent! The only advice I leave you with on this hot sunny day is that it does tend to melt quickly so if you're serving it in the heat of the day, act fast! It may be prudent to slice in advance, freeze your slices and then serve them up when you're ready to eat. Otherwise, I'm thinking this could be rather lovely scooped into an ice cream cone too.
Either way, your friends and family will thank you -- and if you're eating alone, you do need quite a lot of restraint not to eat the entire tub!
orange blossom, raspberry & pistachio semifreddo
makes 2 loaf tins, enough for 12 people
- 100G PISTACHIOS, SHELLED
- 200G CASTER SUGAR
- 125ML WATER
- 200G EGG WHITES (I use "Two Chicks" liquid egg whites but you could also use 5 egg whites if you prefer)
- 80G ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY
- 600ML DOUBLE CREAM
- 130G RASPBERRIES PLUS EXTRA TO DECORATE
- MINT LEAVES to decorate (optional)
You will also need a couple of loaf tins (mine are 25cm x 11cm) lined with clingfilm
- Roughly chop your pistachios nuts and put to one side
- Line a couple of loaf tins with clingfilm (or greaseproof paper at a pinch)
- Heat the sugar and water in a medium saucepan, stirring the sugar until it's completely dissolved
- Simmer for a further 3 minutes
- Start to whisk the egg whites in a freestanding mixer with the whisk attachment on a low speed
- Add the honey and then simmer for a further 1 minute
- At the same time as you add the honey, turn the mixer up and continue to whisk the egg whites until they're at soft peak stage
- Keeping the whisk running slowly and pour the hot sugar syrup in a steady stream into the bowl down one side - you're doing this so that the sugar syrup doesn't hit the whisk and spatter everywhere
- Continue whisking until the egg white and sugar mixture cools down - it takes around 10-12 minutes and the outside of the bowl will feel cooler to the touch
- Put your bowl to one side
- Put the double cream in another bowl and whisk until soft peaks form
- Gently fold the cream into the egg white mixture until combined
- Add the raspberries and pistachios and fold through until combined
- Divide the mixture between the 2 loaf tins, cover with clingfilm and place in the freezer overnight until set
- When ready to serve it, slice the semifreddo and scatter it with the extra raspberries, pistachios and mint leaves