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Strawberry Pistachio Semifreddo

Semifreddo marries the richness of ice cream with the ethereal texture of frozen mousse. Both dramatic and easy, it makes a great dinner-party dessert.

  • prep: 40 mins
    total time: 12 hours 40 mins
  • servings: 12




  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cook's Note

Low Tech
Semifreddo does not require the use of an ice cream maker. Your freezer does all the work.


  1. Step 1

    Line a standard 5-by-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 break down to a coarse grind). Transfer to a small bowl; do not wipe processor clean. Place strawberries and 3 tablespoons sugar in processor; puree until smooth and transfer to a fine sieve set over a bowl. Stir puree, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.

  2. Step 2

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

  3. Step 3

    Beat together cream and vanilla in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk 1/3 of whipped cream into egg mixture, whisking until smooth, then fold into remaining cream with a rubber spatula just until thoroughly incorporated.

  4. Step 4

    Pour 1/2 of cream mixture into strawberry puree. Gently fold together until thoroughly incorporated, then pour into loaf pan and smooth top. Fold pistachios into remaining cream mixture and pour evenly over strawberry cream; smooth top. Fold plastic wrap over surface and freeze at least 12 hours and up to 3 days. To serve, peel plastic from surface. Invert pan onto a cutting board. Unmold semifreddo, remove plastic, and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2013



Reviews (2)

  • 22 Aug, 2013

    This is a great dessert recipe. Easy too! Before making this, I read Karen72's review and agreed, what's wrong with a few strawberry chunks? In the end, it was too much strawberry juice/pulp that was added to my cream mixture. It turned out fine, but I have a feeling the strawberry half would have been a bit more fluffy and delicate had I ran it through a sieve and discarded the pulp. Again, it was still delicious, but I'm going to try it without the excess strawberry material next time.

  • 29 May, 2013

    This recipe is delicious, however I see no reason to put the pureed strawberries through a sieve. I started doing that and it became tedious, I deleted that step. what is wrong with a few strawberry chunks? It adds flavor and interest. Be sure to read the recipe all the way through and have all the pans, bowls, figured out. I neglected to do that and had too many pans, bowls dirty. Also, be sure to put your strawberry puree into a large bowl because will adding the whipped cream to it.