homemade fig and pear semi-freddo
April 3, 2011 § 13 Comments
Over our back fence there is an overgrown lane-way. The grass is knee-high littered with old televisions and garden clippings sneakily dropped out of neighbours lives. This place seems long forgotten. Certainly no one seems to go there. And I wouldn’t either, if it were not for the huge fig tree that hangs beyond one lucky neighbours back-yard, the branches reaching deep into the lane. Once a week I have been jumping our fence, braving the long grass with the hidden electrical appliances and checking on the figs, waiting for them to turn soft and blushing purple. I’m glad I have been watching so closely, because all of a sudden they have hurriedly begun to ripen and split, the purple blush revealing delicious pink softly wrapped in white. My recent visits have had me returning with a wide sticky smile and pockets juicy and bulging. I have needed careful restraint in order for them to make it all the way to the kitchen with me. Luckily the idea of fig ice-cream has kept me determined to save a special few.
Semi-freddo is a lovely way to get the idea of ice-cream without all the bother, fluster and equipment needed to produce it. Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe in this book I have changed the quantities a bit, and adapted it to my own flavourings.
It’s probably obvious, I am making fig and pear semi-freddo because I want to impress someone. What could be especially delightful for my sweetheart just back from 5 months in Africa. This recipe is both seductive and gentle with the comfort of pears and flirtation of figs.
What you will need
400 g fresh figs
1 ripe pear
2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
100 g brown sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 free range organic eggs separated
600 ml thick organic cream
1 Tbsp raw organic honey
Remove the stalk from the fig and cut into quarters. Remove the core from the pear and roughly chop. Place the fig, pear, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar in a saucepan and stew until soft and caramelised. Allow to cool before pureeing.
Whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla.
In a second bowl whisk the cream until soft peaks form.
In a third bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until very firm peaks form.
Gently fold all ingredients together. Transfer to an old ice cream container or tupperware and drizzle with honey before placing in the freezer for about 4 hours or until partially frozen. Otherwise, freeze for longer and place in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving. Semi-freddo is Italian and literally translates to semi-frozen.
Serve in a bowl with fresh figs or a drizzle of honey.
Other very tasty combinations:
Banana and cardamom
Apricot and almond
Chocolate and chili
The semifreddo looks amazing. I love figs, especially in dessert. I had fresh figs once, tossed through with mascarpone, honeycomb and a drizzle of honey. SO GOOD. 🙂
Oh my goodness, that sounds so good. There is nothing quite like mascarpone!!
Can’t wait for summer. I have a friend who hates figs and gives me the ones from his yard. Will definitely try this.
Oooooh Delicious Sophie ! Michaels favourite fruit figs. I’m with you on the ice-cream thing…a bit of a chore but this is perfect. We have a fig tree but sadly does not produce many figs, will have to go hunting for a dodgy lane somewhere. xx
Their usually not too hard to find 😉
beautiful – completely! yay for forgotten city-fruit in hard to reach places.
Just had a flick through your site, lovely pics and recipes. Don’t eat meat but love your Red & Green Tomato Chutney recipe, one to try.
The figs look succulent and the pears look like little people. I feel very proud of the culinary skills of my former Friendly Beaches Lodge Co-ordinator. When is the Cookbook being published??
Thank you Joan!! xx
This sounds fantastic. I’ve never thought of combining figs and pears, and now it sounds completely natural and intuitive to me, and I wonder why I’ve never considered it before. Lovely!
This sounds amazing! I’m definitely bookmarking it for when I have more figs than I know what to do with. It’s an alternative to fig chutney!!
This looks so utterly yummy!
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 #78 (random order).