This Peach and Pistachio Praline Semifreddo is a crunchy, creamy, fruity delight. A perfect summer dessert!
What a treat when peaches are in season! And a splash of Grand Marnier on the peaches for garnish doesn’t hurt either! Totally optional though..
When I first made it last summer I made it a point to pick up some end-of-season fresh peaches but one thing leading to another… when I actually got around to making this, my peaches were past their ‘best before’ status.
Since I had my heart kind of set on making this and I had all the other ingredients I was determined to find a plan B, which came in the form of ….. President’s Choice frozen peach slices!
They were fine! Obviously fresh, fresh peaches in season would be awesome, the frozen peaches were actually fine. Canned peaches are sooooo sweet and kinda ‘spongy’ that I don’t think I would use them. But the frozen ones had good texture and taste.
So… now you know…you can make this all year round.
The crunchy, nutty praline is a perfect contrast to the semifreddo!
This easy, make ahead dessert will become a summer and/or fall favourite dessert for sure!
Chef’s Tips for Peach and Pistachio Praline Semifreddo
- The recipe calls for unsalted pistachios. I have used both salted and unsalted and they are both fine. You can find shelled pistachios at Bulk Barn in Canada. I actually saw some on sale in the shell at my grocery store so I shelled them myself.
- You can make the semifreddo and store it in your freezer in an airtight container for upto 3 months. Since you need to pulverize some of the praline to mix in the semifreddo you will need to make it at the same time.
- If you are only making it a few days ahead of time you can store the remaining praline in an airtight container at room temperature. If you are making it way ahead I would crumble it coarsely and freeze it as well in an airtight container.
- Remove the semifreddo from the freezer about a half hour before serving.
- Garnish with peach slices just before serving. You can peel and slice the peaches a few hours ahead of time in which case you will need toss them in lemon juice to coat or submerge them in water with lemon juice. I toss them in lemon juice and then pour a few Tablespoons of Grand Marnier over them. Then I press plastic wrap over the surface to eliminate as much air as possible.
If you are a fan of Semifreddo you might like this Limoncello Raspberry Semifreddo.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 cup shelled raw, unsalted pistachios or hazelnuts roughly crushed
- 5 large egg yolks
- 9 Tbsps sugar divided 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup
- 4 large ripe peaches 2 + 2
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur Amaretto or peach liqueur would work too. Divided 5 Tbsps and 3 Tbsps
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread nuts out in a single layer and bake about 10 minutes until golden. Allow nuts to cool.
- Line another baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking oil.
- Combine sugar, water and honey in saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Swirl pan occasionally and brush sides down with a wet brush. When mixture is deep caramel colour (this can take up to 30 minutes depending on the surface of you saucepan) remove from heat. Add nuts and stir to coat. Pour out immediately to foil sheet and allow to cool completely.
- When cool break off 1/4 of the praline and chop coarsely. Transfer to a food processor and and process until it is a fine powder. Transfer to an airtight container. Break remaining praline into 1/4 " pieces and transfer to another airtight container. This can be done up to a week ahead. Store at room temperature.
- Spray a 9 X 5 " loaf pan with cooking spray and line it with a double layer of plastic wrap. Leave about 4" overhand on all sides.
- Whisk yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and liqueur in the top of a double boiler. Bring water in the bottom of the double boiler to a simmer. Do not let water touch the top of the double boiler. Set double boiler top over the bottom pan and whisk until the yolks thicken and look like soft whipped cream (about 4 minutes). Remove the top and continue to whisk about 3 more minutes until mixture is cool to touch.
- Peel, pit and quarter 2 of the peaches. Puree these 2 in processor until smooth. You are shooting for 1 cup of peach puree.
- Add the peach puree to the yolk mixture. Whip the cream with 1/4 cup of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold cream mixture gently into the peach/yolk mixture.
- Fold in the ground praline until evenly mixed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Fold plastic overhang over to seal the pan. Cover with foil and freeze overnight.
- When ready to serve unfold the foil and plastic wrap. Invert semifreddo onto a serving plate. Press chopped praline onto sides of semifreddo. You can cover and return to freezer if not ready to serve yet.
- Just before serving peel, pit and slice the other 2 peaches for garnish. Line the slices along the open top of the semifreddo. If you prepare the peach slices ahead of time, add the 1 Tbsp lemon juice to just enough water to cover the peach slices so they don't discolour. Keep them covered until ready to garnish and then drain them, drizzle remaining 3 Tbsps Gran Marnier (optional) and place them.
- To serve cut into 1 " slices. Serve with pieces of praline and peaches for garnish.