Natasha Pickowicz Corn and Coconut Semifreddo Sandwiches

The magical, golden moments of early fall are captured in this sunny, sweet-and-savory ice cream sandwich. Layers of chewy coconut macaroon and sweet corn-spiked semifreddo come together in an easy dessert that can be made days in advance - no ice cream machine necessary.



For the coconut macaroon:

  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) vanilla extract

For the corn semifreddo:

  • 1 cup corn kernels (about 1 ear of corn)
  • 1 cup (250g) heavy cream
  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs (150g)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons condensed milk
  • Flaky sea salt, to serve


For the coconut macaroons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the three eggs on medium-high speed until foamy.
  3. Stream in the granulated sugar and kosher salt and whip until the mixture appears fluffy and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla mixture and whip to combine. Turn the mixer off and fold in the shredded coconut by hand.
  5. Spread the mixture into the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Let cool completely. Wrap tightly to store at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

For the corn semifreddo:

  1. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap, with plenty of overhang. Place in the freezer to thoroughly chill.
  2. Heat a medium-sized pot over low heat. Add the corn kernels, one tablespoon unsalted butter and sauté gently until golden and tender. About 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stream in the cream, scraping up the caramelized bits of corn. Continue to stir over low heat and let the cream infuse for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely (the infused corn cream can be made up to 24 hours in advance).
  4. Strain the cream well, pressing out as much moisture from the corn as possible. Set the buttery corn bits aside, and refrigerate the strained cream until chilled.
  5. Purée the corn bits until super smooth, and set aside.
  6. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites; set the whites aside.
  7. In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of steaming hot water. Whisk the yolks, one tablespoon of coconut sugar and salt, until the sugar has melted and the mixture feels warm to the touch. About 3 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped white chocolate a spoonful at a time, whisking throughout to melt. Add the remaining one tablespoon of butter and whisk until smooth, another minute more.
  9. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is no longer hot to the touch. Add the reserved corn purée and whisk until smooth.
  10. Add the reserved egg whites to a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip until foamy and white, about 1 minute, then add the remaining tablespoon of coconut sugar.
  11. Continue to whip on high speed until fluffy and soft, floppy peaks are beginning to form, another minute or two.
  12. Use a spatula to gently fold this meringue mixture into the yolk mixture in addition of two, being careful not to deflate the meringue.
  13. Remove the chilled corn-flavored cream from the fridge and add to the cleaned mixing bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks have formed, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  14. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mixture in addition of two, being careful not to deflate the whip, but folding thoroughly to eliminate lumps.
  15. Pour the custard into the prepared mold. Freeze at least 24 hours.
  16. When ready to build the semifreddo sandwiches, line the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place it into the freezer to chill.
  17. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and carefully tug the plastic lining out of the loaf pan and onto a cutting board. Slice into slabs ¾” thick, using a clean, hot knife. (If the semifreddo begins to melt, just place the slabs back into the freezer and wait for 1 to 2 hours before cutting again).
  18. Use a 3” round cookie cutter to punch a circle out each slab. Place the six most perfect circles onto the pre-frozen baking sheet and place back into the freezer to rest.
  19. Use the same cookie cutter to punch out 12 circles from the coconut macaroon sheet. Turn the circles over and spread a thin layer of condensed milk on the underside of each macaroon.
  20. Place a round of frozen corn semifreddo on top and add the other cookie to the sandwich shut. Serve immediately or freeze for up to 1 to 2 days before eating. Sprinkle the surface generously with flaky sea salt before eating.

Pro Tip:

Use the leftover semifreddo and coconut macaroon scraps for an easy secondary dessert — soften a pint of your favorite coconut sorbet and add to a pre-chilled mixing bowl. Scatter in the semifreddo and macaroon scraps. Stir to distribute evenly. Transfer this mixture into the loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and let re-freeze for another 24 hours. Cover with your favorite cream cheese icing, or just slice plain for another beautiful sliced dessert.

For a finer macaroon crumb and smoother edges, use the finely shredded coconut instead of the big flakes - just make sure it's unsweetened.


Natasha Pickowicz

Natasha Pickowicz is an NYC-based pastry chef and writer. She is a three-time James Beard Foundation Award finalist, recognition from her time spent running the pastry programs at the award-winning restaurants Altro Paradiso, Flora Bar, and Flora Coffee from their opening in 2016 until March of 2020. Currently, Natasha runs the acclaimed pastry pop-up called Never Ending Taste, which celebrates the relationship between local farming, social justice, and community bake sales. It has been held at NYC’s Superiority Burger, Brooklyn’s The Four Horsemen, the American-Vietnamese bakery Bạn Bè, the Taiwanese tea room Té Company, LA’s Kismet, and San Diego’s Chino Farms. She is now working on her debut cookbook.


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