Semifreddo Trio of strawberry, vanilla bean, pistachio

Jul 22, 2014 by Mark Godbeer

Load up on the bug repellant, the 50+ sun block, polarized sunnies and your best frozen desserts recipes. Summer is here.

Of course, working aboard yachts, it always seems to be summer as the majority of boats follow the tropical temperatures. However, this sensation of summer never gets old.

Here’s a recipe designed for this time of year. Elegantly dressed up, it deserves the right to be eaten at the fanciest of tables. Found scooped into a plastic bowl and served pool side, it will be just as regal.

The recipe requires a few hours to complete, but the majority of that is allotted for freezing, allowing you to concentrate on your other dishes. And it is very forgiving. This recipe serves 10-12, depending on portion size.


1 cup strawberries, leaned and chopped into half-inch cubes

1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out

1 cup roasted pistachios, shelled, salted

1 1/2 cups half & half

3 large eggs

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

5 tbsp. dark agave honey

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 pinch Kosher salt

Cleaned fruit and edible flowers for garnish

Place 10 2 1/2-inch ring molds on a baking sheet and spray with Pam, evenly coating the insides of each. Wrap the bottom of each mold tightly with cling film (I use press ’n seal) to prevent any mixture leaking out.

In a food processor, grind pistachios for 10 seconds or until finely chopped.

Transfer to a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup half & half and bring to a boil.

Once the mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and set aside for 15-20 minutes to cool and for flavors to infuse.

In another saucepan on medium-high heat, bring the honey to a boil, then add the strawberries and 1/2 cup half & half and whisk. Continue to cook for 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

Remove from heat, blend in a blender, strain and set aside to cool.

In a third saucepan, bring the remaining half & half and vanilla bean to a boil.

Remove pod and set aside to cool.

In a large metal mixing bowl set over a pot of boiling water (also known as a double boiler; never allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the steaming water) whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Continue to whisk until the mixture doubles and finally triples in volume. (A thermometer should read at least 170 degrees F.)

Remove the bowl from the double boiler and continue to whisk for a few minutes.

Divide the egg mixture amongst the three completely cooled half & half mixtures and fold until just blended.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and divide amongst the three half & half mixtures. Lightly fold in until the whipped cream is barely incorporated.

Evenly distribute the vanilla mixture among the molds. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Refrigerate the other two flavored mixtures until needed.

Next, layer on the pistachio mixture and freeze 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Lastly, top with the strawberry mixture and freeze until it set. Cover.

To serve, I discard the plastic from the bottom of all the molds and run a knife along the inside edge of the mold to allow for easy and clean removal of the semifreddo.

Place the semifreddo into a shallow-walled dish and garnish with fresh fruit. Enjoy immediately.

Mark Godbeer, a culinary-trained chef from South Africa, has been professionally cooking for more than 11 years, 9 of which have been on yachts ( Comments on this recipe are welcome at


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