Thursday, September 01, 2011

SEMIFREDDO DI FICHI D'INDIA

This weekend, it is predicted, will bring another "African" heatwave to Sicily, school's still out and ice cream is still being served:  yet the rientro or return from the countryside or sea for most Italians signifies the end of summer and fichi d'India or prickly pears are already in the shops.  



For me they represent the taste of Sicily so this year I decided to honour them in a semifreddo:


I wanted this one to have a biscuity base and a top so I began by crushing six digestive biscuits with a rolling pin.  Then you lightly oil the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin - use groundnut or sunflower oil -  and sprinkle half the crumbs over.  You won't really get many to adhere to the sides but it doesn't matter.  Now deal with the fruit:  you need to peel and slice 5 prickly pears and the way a Sicilian taught me to do this is to hold the fruit steady on its side with a fork, cut a slit in the skin with a knife and then cut round the fruit.  You have to be careful not to touch the skins with your hands as you can still get a nasty prickle even if you buy the fruit dethorned.  Next crush 6 savoiardi [lady's finger] biscuits and put aside while you whip up 500 ml panna da montare, whipping or double cream to stiff peaks.  Now stir in a little Sicilian prickly pear liqueur [or orange liqueur], 50 gr sugar, the savoiardi crumbs and the sliced fruit.  Mix well with a metal spoon and then spoon it all into the prepared tin.  Level the top with a palette knife and sprinkle the reserved digestive biscuit crumbs over. Wrap the tin all round with clingfilm and then with foil and freeze the semifreddo for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.  It should turn out easily and you can decorate it with more slices of prickly pear.

Enjoy.

10 comments:

"J" said...

In Spain this fruit is "Higo chumbo" and they grow inside the cactus...

Claude said...

I never used a prickly pear yet. I'll look around and let you know. Your loaf certainly looks very good.

Bev said...

Well, this is perfect for the nice hot dry spell that has come your way. I wish the heat would reach us here up north a bit more often.
This is another fruit that we love, even if so much care has to be taken to pick it and then peel it! It's worth the effort. :-)

Leslie: said...

Yummy! :D

rosaria said...

My, I haven't had prickly pears since I was a little girl. Delicious stuff, if you manage to pull out the pulp before pricking yourself.

Winchester whisperer said...

Looks delicious - i'm going to try that & ask my Italian deli man if he has any of the liqueur

Gledwood said...

Doesn't remplir une fiche mean to fill in a form in French? So those fichi would be "Indian forms" in Italian, bearing in mind how many "cognates" there are between Italian and French?....?

Hey I got FREE limoncello desert from Londis yesterday. It had gone past its date but was still yummy.

Say hi to Simi from me :-)

Dragonstar said...

Sounds really delicious! Not sure about the prickly pears though - I had a run-in with a juvenile p.p. cactus in my schooldays, and I've not forgotten! Think I'll leave it for someone else to prepare ;)

the cuby poet said...

I never knew prickly
pear was edible.Your pictures make me want to try it very much. Can you post me a slice please? or will the pictures have to suffice? YUM YUM

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, "J" and welcome to the comments. Thank you for the information. Oh, you must, Claude! Hi, Bev. Yes, definitely worth the effort. Thanks, Leslie. Hi, Rosaria. Yes,you have to be careful! I hope you can get some, WW. Hi, Gleds. Yes, it does. Glad you enjoyed the dessert. Hi, Dragonstar. Yes, get someone else to do it! A slice coming down the virtual tube now, Cuby.

Counters


View My Stats