Strawberry Pistachio Semifreddo

Have you always thought of Memorial Day as the first day of summer? We always have. It was also the first day we were allowed to swim in the river in front of our house. Sometimes a bit too chilly, but we all jumped in anyway, determined for summer to begin no matter what. There was always a parade in our little town, followed by a ceremony honoring the fallen in the Armed Forces. And then, of course, a picnic to end the day. Either at the local park, or on the boat, which we all preferred of course.

Because Memorial Day still means a picnic to most of us, I wanted to post an ice cream or a semifreddo recipe of some kind, a simple one that didn't take a lot of time to make. I found a lovely recipe for a Strawberry Semifreddo and thought it would appeal to everyone. It was a snap to make and really, I was all set to make it when the latest issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine landed in my mailbox. And with it, an even more impressive semifreddo recipe, this time for a Strawberry Pistachio Semifreddo. It was so darn pretty, a little more involved to make, but I thought it would make a wonderful Memorial Day post.  Because I loved the idea of adding some Grand Marnier (as the first recipe did...click on the link above to see how easy that semifreddo is to make), I incorporated it into the Martha Stewart recipe. I folded about 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier into the whipped cream. Turned out very nicely as you can see, and was delicious. That pistachio cream was divine. It does take an overnight (or at least a 12 hour) freeze, but all the better when you're trying to get things done in advance.

Strawberry Pistachio Semifreddo
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2013 issue

1/2 cup unsalted roasted shelled pistachios
8 ounces strawberries, hulled (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely chopped. (Some will end up in crumbs, that's OK.) Transfer to a new bowl. Do not wipe processor clean. Place strawberries and 3 tablespoons sugar in processor. Purée until smooth and transfer to a fine sieve set over a bowl. Stir purée, pressing on solids ton extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

Combine egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Beat on high speed until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Transfer bowl to larger bowl of ice water. Stir until mixture is very thick and cool, about 3 minutes.

Beat together whipping cream and vanilla in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into egg mixture, whisking until smooth, then fold remaining cream with a spatula just until incorporated. At this point, I divided the whipped cream in half and added the Grand Marnier to the half reserved for the strawberries because I wanted the pistachio cream to taste like pistachios, not Grand Marnier.
Pour 1/2 of cream mixture into strawberry puree. Gently fold together until incorporated, then pour into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Fold the pistachios into remaining cream mixture and pour evenly over strawberry mixture. Smooth top. Fold plastic wrap over surface and freeze at least 12 hours. 
To serve, peel plastic off the top, invert pan onto dish and unmold, removing plastic, and cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces.


  1. Happy Memorial Day! That semifreddo must taste divine. A wonderfully refreshing treat.



  2. Hi Barbara!

    What a yummy delight to kick off the beginning of summer:) (Yes, I know it's unofficial but that's the way it has always been for us too. Although, it sure is hard to feel summery with this weather, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Have a GREAT, Safe weekend!

    P.S. I know you're busy but if you get a second, drop by my blog. I did a recent post.

  3. I just saw this in her magazine and thought it was gorgeous. So glad to see you've tried it. Grand Marnier always makes everything better. I may give this one a try.

  4. this look amazing and delicious! Barbara!

  5. I wish that the coming Memorial Day would find us in a summer mood, but the weather is so cold and rainy that all I can think of is soup. Hopefully it won't be too long before local berries appear in the farmers' market. Your semifreddo looks yummy, Barbara.

  6. Good Evening Barbara, We love Semi freddo in our house and I usually use a recipe by Nigella Lawson, but I love the idea of adding pistachios. I will certainly give this recipe a try when our weather warms up..... if it ever does.
    Best Wishes

  7. It does look wonderful! Grand Marnier is such a winner with strawberries, I am glad you included it!

  8. Looks so pretty this semifreddo, and yes, Grand Marnier and pistachio sure adds flavor and texture...
    Hope you are having a lovely week Barbara :)

  9. The semifreddo looks incredible!
    Happy Memorial Day!

  10. I always think of Memorial day as the first day I can wear white jeans lol!

    I love this dessert...totally stunning!

  11. Looks cool and yummy! I'll be making this!

  12. Interesting combination of strawberry and pistachio--I bet it's delicious! Happy Memorial Day!

  13. Looks heavenly. I wonder if the Knight would try it? It has two of his favorite ingredients...

    Happy Memorial Day! I never wear linen or white (shoes) before then, and yes, this weekend is when our pools and lakes open for swimming too. It's supposed to be in the 40s the next few nights, so I won't be getting in the pool!

  14. What a beautiful dessert to celebrate with! Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday.

  15. Ohhh mi querida Barbara está de lujo se ve muy tentador muy sabroso,abrazos y abrazos.

  16. well thank you Barbara!
    you and your most recent comment made my day!
    so refreshing to get real feedback once in a while.
    yes, I would love to see how your banana crumb cake came out!

  17. That is a beautiful dessert, Barbara! But not only a pretty face - it soun delicious too. Strawberries, pistachios and Grand Marnier - oh my!

  18. Is it like a cake or ice cream?

  19. using pistachios in your base was a great move! this is a classy and tasty treat. :)

  20. Happy Memorial Day Barbara! It's so cold here and I wish we had some warmer weather and some of this delicious semifreddo! :)

  21. Happy Memorial Day my friend, this semifreddo looks gorgeous!

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. Happy Memorial Day, Barbara! I remember that my "little brother" used to refer to this as "Remorial Day" and we would always go to Carvel to get soft serve cones! Your lovely semifreddo is a classy adult version of that tradition!

  23. LOve the colours of the senifreddo! What a perfect dessert for the warmer months!

  24. I went through a whole lot of effort to make 3 layer ice cream last year. This is so easy and wow strawberry and pistachio are grand together. I can't wait to try this.

    Hope you have a great holiday.

  25. What a stunning srawberry parfait! It looks so festive & delectable, Barbara!

    Waw even! :) MMMMMMM

  26. Hi! Your semifreddo recipe was nominated as one of the "Best 300 Semifreddo Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit http://easyitalianrecipes.org/dessert-recipes/best-300-italian-semifreddo-recipes-on-the-net-vote-for-your-favorite/ - your recipe is positioned at #211 (random order).



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