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.