Although this is classed as an elegant summer dessert, I found it ideal to serve on Christmas Day as an alternative to the heavy Christmas pudding. An additional advantage is that it could be made in advance and kept in the freezer until required.
½ cup pistachios, shelled (62g) and chopped (for decoration)
4 egg whites
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons wildflower honey (150g)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups strained whole milk, or Greek yoghurt (454g)
Juice of half a lemon
¾ cup fresh or frozen raspberries (140g)
6oz (170g) fresh raspberries for serving
Line a 9” x 5” loaf tin (2L) with parchment paper, making sure there is enough paper hanging over the sides to fold over. My mixture filled the tin plus another cm or so, a little bit like a soufflé so you need the paper standing up.
In a mixer bowl combine egg whites, honey, cream of tartar and salt and set over a pan of simmering water making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir continuously until mixture is warm, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove bowl from heat and beat mixture with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. This should take between 5 and 7 minutes. The meringue should be firm and glossy and keep its shape.
Whisk yoghurt together with lemon juice in a large bowl.
Whisk a few large spoonfuls of the meringue mixture into the yoghurt to lighten the base, then carefully fold the rest of the meringue into the yoghurt until fully incorporated.
Spoon 1/3 of the yoghurt mixture into the prepared tin and cover with a layer of raspberries then cover with the remaining mixture. Smooth the surface.
Freeze for at least four hours until firm (preferably overnight). I found this was an extremely light mix and it was easier to open freeze it, then carefully fold over the parchment paper and cover in foil for storage.
Dip the bottom of the pan in hot water for a few seconds. Turn out on to a large serving platter and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and additional raspberries.
It is advisable to leave the dessert out for half-an-hour or so before serving to allow it to ‘come to’. It doesn’t freeze too solid and is able to be sliced immediately, but a slight thawing gives the dessert a delicious lightness, an almost mousse-like quality but lighter. Any semifreddo not eaten can be popped back into the freezer for another day.
A dairy-free version could be made by substituting an equal amount of whipped coconut cream for the yoghurt.
Recipe adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen