Fig, Walnut and Whiskey Semifreddo


Fig, Walnut and Whiskey Semifreddo

Fig Walnut and Whiskey Semifreddo
Fig Walnut and Whiskey Semifreddo

The less popular sibling of the Italian gelato, a semifreddo has the consistency of a frozen mousse and is served by the slice. This one has roasted walnuts inside and is laced with figs that have been steeped in whiskey. The best part is that you don’t need an ice-cream maker.

Makes an 8 × 4–inch (20 × 10–cm) loaf


  • 1 cup (157 g) dried figs, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whiskey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup (420 ml) heavy cream, whipped to almost stiff peaks
  • 2/3 cup (77 g) walnuts, roasted and chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 4 fresh figs (160 g), quartered, for garnish (optional)


  1. It is best to prepare the figs the night before. In a small bowl, soak the figs in the whiskey. Cover the bowl and set aside for 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight.

  2. Line the base and sides of an 8 × 4–inch (20 × 10–cm), 3-inch (7.5-cm)-deeploaf pan with plastic wrap.

  3. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan that is half–filled with simmering water over low heat. Whisk the egg mixture until thick and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat. Continue to whisk for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture cools to room temperature or barely lukewarm to touch.

  4. Fold in the cream, fig mixture and roasted walnuts. Transfer to the prepared pan and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours. When ready to serve, decorate with fresh figs (if using) and extra walnuts. Slice and serve.

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