Maple Pecan Semifreddo

A staff favorite, this cool dessert looks extravagant but is very easy to pull off, plus it’s completely make-ahead.

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Pecan Goodness: Buttery pecans are a good source of monounsaturated fat, or MUFA, a type of fat from plant sources. Studies have shown that people who consume diets high in MUFAs, such as the Mediterranean diet, have lower levels of inflammatory chemicals C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in their blood, lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

Make the semifreddo entirely in advance then simply pull out of the freezer when you’re ready to serve.

Prep Time
20 min
30 min


  • ⅔ cup chopped unsalted pecans
  • ⅔ cup pure maple syrup, divided
  • ¼ tsp flakey sea salt (such as Maldon)
  • 1½ cups whipping cream, well chilled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk


1. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on each side lengthwise. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium nonstick skillet on medium, toast pecans, stirring frequently, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp maple syrup and cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are well coated and syrup has thickened slightly, 1 minute. Spread nuts onto baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let cool completely, 8 to 10 minutes. Break up clumps of nuts if necessary.

3. In a large bowl, add whipping cream, vanilla and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Using a hand-held mixer, whip until stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Chill in refrigerator.

4. In a large heat-proof bowl, place eggs, yolk and remaining maple syrup. Set bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl sits above the surface of the water. Using an electric mixer set to medium, beat eggs and syrup until doubled in volume and very thick, 7 to 8 minutes. Carefully remove bowl from heat and continue beating egg mixture until bowl is no longer warm, 4 to 5 minutes.

5. Gently fold cream mixture, one-third at a time, into egg mixture. Reserve 2 tbsp pecans for serving and fold in the rest. Spread semifreddo mixture into prepared loaf pan and carefully fold over plastic wrap to cover the top. Place in freezer until set, 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. To serve, tip semifreddo onto a serving platter and peel off plastic wrap. Sprinkle with reserved 2 tbsp pecans and slice. (Note: Semifreddo can be scooped but will be very soft.)

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ⅛ of recipe
  • Calories 320
  • Carbohydrate Content 21 g
  • Cholesterol Content 144 mg
  • Fat Content 25 g
  • Fiber Content 1 g
  • Protein Content 5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 12 g
  • Sodium Content 116 mg
  • Sugar Content 18 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 9 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g