RECIPE: Baklava ricotta semifreddo

Pic: Laura Edwards

Have you ever wanted to try your hands at Greek food?

Well, thankfully chef Georgina Hayden is on hand with her new cookbook, Greekish.

“I’d say this ice cream is more of a pudding than one for scooping on a cone (though by all means),” she explains.

“Take it out of the freezer a good 30 minutes before you want to serve it and turn it out of its loaf tin onto a serving board. The caramelised filo bottom becomes the attractive top, and you can scatter with more nuts if you like, even a drizzle of honey.

“The texture of the filo gets in the freezer is so pleasing- much of it remains crunchy but some bits soften to become chewy and it’s just marvellous every part.”

Pic: Laura Edwards


Serves 10

70g unsalted butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar
6 sheets of filo
75g walnuts
500g ricotta
1 tablespoon rose water
400ml double cream
1 lemon
100g honey


Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Melt the butter.

Mix the ground cinnamon with 40g of the caster sugar. Brush the filo sheets with the butter, one by one, and sprinkle each with one-sixth of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Scrunch each sheet into waves or loose rosettes in a baking tray. Finely chop the walnuts and scatter over the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and leave to cool.

When the filo and nuts are cool, scrunch it all up in the tray so you have a mixture of medium and small pieces to stir into the ice cream; it’s nice if some bits are clumpy.

Line a 900g loaf tin with clingfilm; leave the edges long so you can fold them back over the filling. Sprinkle in enough filo mixture to cover the bottom of the tin. Blitz the ricotta, the remaining 60g of caster sugar and the rose water in a food processor until just combined and glossy.

Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form and then fold in the ricotta mixture.

Finely grate in the lemon zest and drizzle in the honey.

Fold in most of the remaining filo to the cream mixture. Spoon the ice cream mixture into the prepared loaf tin, fold over the clingfilm and press gently on top then freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

To serve

Bring out the freezer and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Turn out the ice cream loaf on a board, scatter with the reserved toasted and crushed filo, and serve in slices.

Extract taken from Greekish: Everyday recipes with Greek roots by Georgina Hayden (Bloomsbury Publishing, Hardback)


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