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Pine Nut Semifreddo with Berries and Herbs

Similar to a frozen mousse, this semifreddo–topped with pine nut praline and fresh fruits– is simply perfection.
Pine Nut Semifreddo with Berries and Herbs Recipe

Servings: 4

Total: 12 hours


for the pine nut praline:

1/2 cup sugar

8 ounces pine nuts

for the semi freddo:

1/2 vanilla bean

2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, separated

1 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt

for the berries:

1/4 cup strawberries, halved lengthwise

1/4 cup blueberries, halved

1/4 cup ground cherries, peeled of their husk and split in half from the top

1 tablespoon sparkling rosé

1 teaspoon grated Japanese brown sugar (or regular brown sugar)


to finish:

2 teaspoons pine bud extract (optional)

2 tablespoons picked curly mint

2 tablespoons bronze fennel tips

other small edible flowers from the garden


1. Make the pine nut praline: Line a sheet tray with a silpat or nonstick foil. Cook the sugar and 2 tablespoons water over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and begins to caramelize. Once it has a light brown color, add the pine nuts and stir the mixture until it is nice and golden and the pine nuts are beautifully toasted. It will carry over a bit, so don't take it too far. Pour it onto the prepared sheet tray and allow to cool (do not refrigerate). Once the praline is cool, buzz it up in a food processor until it's slightly chunky.

2. Make the semi freddo: Start by preparing a small loaf pan with parchment paper to line the bottom and sides as well as some non stick cooking spray. Split the vanilla beans and scrape them into the sugar. Mix the sugar and vanilla with the egg yolks in a bowl and, using a whisk, beat until pale and fluffy. Set aside in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until medium peaks form. Set aside in the refrigerator. In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until firm peaks form (do not over mix). Add the cream to the egg yolk mixture and fold gently until almost combined. Then add the egg whites and fold until almost combined. Then add the crumbled praline and fold until just combined. Pour into the lined loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for a few hours or overnight.

3. To finish: Chill 4 plates in the freezer 15 minutes before plating. Meanwhile, mix the blueberries and the ground cherries in a small bowl with the Japanese brown sugar (or brown sugar) and the rosé. Slice the semifreddo into 1-inch thick pieces and arrange on the chilled plates. Spoon over the blueberries, ground cherries, and a little of their juices. Place a few strawberries on the semifreddo and then a few drops of the pine bud extract, if using. Finish with the mint, bronze fennel and any flowers you have available.