Lavender Citrus Semifreddo with Lavender Pine Nut Crumble
Posted Jul 07 2008 7:15pm
A dear friend of mine shared her lavender ice cream experience with me after telling her about my recent purchase of culinary lavender. She said:
“It was the most unusual flavor. First it was kind of perfume-y, but then I started to enjoy the flavor. You have to try it”
Since reading up on the use of lavender in recipes, I learned that the type of lavender used makes all the difference in the taste of a dish. It is important to purchase or grownculinary lavender. So, with my friend’s story as inspiration and my culinary lavender in hand, I set out to create a raw version of semifreddo with lavender as the star ingredient.
What is semifreddo? It is an Italian word that means “half cold” or half frozen, and according toTHE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler, semifreddo refers to any of various chilled or partially frozen desserts including cake, ice cream, fruit and custard or whipped cream.
The scent of lavender is gorgeously soothing, obviously floral, and as I have learned it pairs well with lemon. I specifically chose to use Meyer lemons for its sweeter, less tart lemon flavor.
A silky smooth texture is what you want to achieve to create this dessert. Initially, I used a food processor to grind the cashews, and blend together the ingredients but the end result produced a creamy yet grainy texture. Then I used a high-speed blender, a Vita-mix, and the texture was perfect.
Make Lavender Citrus Semifreddo with or without Lavender Pine Nut Crumble. This lovely treat is a great dessert for the warmer days ahead. It doesn’t require an ice cream maker, and can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Lavender Citrus Semifreddo
There are many ways to serve this dessert. Use individual dishes, as I did, or individual glasses. Try using a spring-form pan, a mold or loaf pan. If using a mold or loaf pan, you might consider lining it with plastic wrap for ease of removal. Use enough plastic wrap to line the pan and have extra overhang to lift out the semifreddo when ready to serve. Otherwise loosen the semifreddo from the dish by scoring the sides with a knife.
1 cup cashews ½ cup filtered water ¾ cups Meyer lemon juice, fresh squeezed [about 3 lemons] ½ cup agave 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds, ground 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract, optional ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Place the cashews, filtered water, Meyer lemon juice, and agave in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Grind the lavender buds in a coffee grinder or spice mill. Add the ground lavender along with the remaining ingredients in the blender with the cashew cream and blend until well incorporated.
Yields 2 cups
Lavender Pine Nut Crumble
This crumble adds textural interest, more lavender flavor and a slight earthy woody dimension to this desert.
¼ cup pine nuts ½ tablespoon fresh lavender buds, ground Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
In a food processor, process pine nuts and lavender buds into a crumble. Add the lemon zest to the lavender pine nut mixture and combine.
Yields ¼ cup crumble
Assemble the dessert
If using, sprinkle the lavender pine nut crumble on the bottom of each individual dish. Slowly pour the lavender citrus cream into each dish, using about ½ cup of cream per dish. Cover each dish and place in the freezer for 8 hours or more.