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Alternative To Ice Cream: Pistachio Semifreddo

Since today is National Pistachio Day, I thought I would post an interesting recipe that highlights pistachios as the main flavor. Semifreddo literally translates to half cold in Italian, and in the culinary world it is generally a term for various chilled or partially frozen desserts - including cake, ice cream, fruit, or custard. In this case, it is like an ice cream that you can make without an ice cream maker (woo-hoo!). The mixture doesn't get as frozen as ice cream would, but it tastes just as sweet. Pistachio semifreddo makes an elegant end to a supper with friends. To add this recipe to your repertoire,

Pistachio Semifreddo
From Gourmet magazine

1 1/2 cups shelled salted pistachios (6 1/2 oz)
1 cup sugar
6 large egg whites
2 cups chilled heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Pulse 1 cup pistachios with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Add remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and pulse until just coarsely ground.
  2. Beat egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks.
  3. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, then increase speed to high and beat until meringue just holds stiff, glossy peaks.
  4. Beat cream with almond extract in a wide bowl with mixer at high speed until it just holds soft peaks.
  5. Fold meringue into cream gently but thoroughly, then fold in nut mixture in same manner.
  6. Spoon into a 2-quart dish and freeze, covered, until firm enough to scoop, about 4 hours.
  7. Let soften slightly before serving.

Makes 2 quarts.

Please note: The egg whites in this recipe are not cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area.

Join The Conversation
ameliajoon ameliajoon 10 years
mmm sounds delish!
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 10 years
yum! ice cream is the best only made with a proper machine though.
kikichantelle kikichantelle 10 years
i made this last night!!! i'm living in northern italy this year, so i found this amazing fresh cream to use... i let it freeze overnight and had some for breakfast (shhhh!)- absolutely delicious. i don't have a food processor, so i just used a hammer to crush the pistachios- works the same. i love the mix of sweet and salt. thanks for the recipe!
Food Food 10 years
hiya boosh, you should be able to, you may want to add a pinch of salt for flavor. why don't you give it a try and let us know how it goes!
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
OMG I have to make this! I adore pistachio! Here at Jeff de Bruges (my favourite chocolatier) they make a chocolat and pistachio mixed ice cream. To die for!
Megatron Megatron 10 years
So, I went to dinner tonight with my mom and a family friend and I told them it was National Pistachio Day and they didn't believe me. :(
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
oh yummers. :drool: so good. i will def make this sometime soon! :D
boosh-bitch boosh-bitch 10 years
Can you make this with other nuts too? If I have unsalted nuts already in the house, should I add a little bit of salt to the mix?
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