Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pistachios & Strawberries--the Italian way...A frozen treat!

Last weekend, in addition to pretty homemade herb & citrus soap for Grandmom, we wanted to--of course,  make her a special birthday treat.  It was hot, so we didn't exactly want to turn the oven on...And not to mention all that heavy whipping cream we had to use (we used the cream container as the square mold for our mint & basil soap).  Looking around, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the beautiful tri-colore SEMI FREDDO I saw in the most recent issue of BON APPETIT.  Recipe here.

Pistachio.  Strawberry.  Vanilla.  

Frozen, creamy deliciousness.


Semi Freddo half cold in Italian... is a seriously amazing cross between ice cream (or more like it: gelato!) AND mouse.  Frozen, creamy and wonderful.  And no ice cream maker required!  You can make just one flavor but this was Grandmom's b-day, so we went all out...choosing to make all three colors of the Italian flag.  We brought the pistachios and milk to a boil and steeped for 30 mins till the milk was a lovely pale shade of soft green.  The pistachio taste at this point is so amazing and intense--its heightened just a bit more with a touch of almond extract (the secret ingredient!).  We pulsed the hulled berries with sugar and pressed thru a fine sieve so only the amazingly smooth & bright puree was left. 

(We were supposed to steep the seeds of a vanilla bean in milk, too but the store was out--so we just used vanilla extract!--next time: the bean!)

And then we whipped some eggs (over simmering water till temp reached 170 degrees) till they were light and fluffy and we whipped the cream till it held soft peaks and we folded both into each "color" and proceeded to freeze one layer at a time in a loaf pan (lined with saran wrap)  till all done.  This dessert  does take some time to make (less time if you are just making one flavor) But, believe me it is truly worth every second!

Once ready to serve, carefully remove from loaf pan--using the saran wrap. Using a clean knife, dipped in hot water and wiped clean, slice and serve.  Especially good if you let it sit for 5 minutes or so before serving...I promise, you will be in for an absolute (frozen!) treat..

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