American Pistachio-Studded Holiday Sponge Cakes

6 Small Cakes.

Eggs, separated
½ teaspoon Cream of tartar
1 ½ cups Sugar, divided
½ cup Orange juice
1 teaspoon Grated orange peel
1 ¼ cups Flour
¼ cup Natural American pistachios, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon Salt
Orange Syrup (recipe follows)
½ cup Natural American pistachios, chopped

Orange Syrup: Combine ¾ cup each sugar and water and 1 teaspoon orange peel; bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes; cool 10 minutes


Beat egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add ¾ cup sugar; continue beating until stiff but not dry. Set aside. Beat yolks about 3 minutes or until very thick and light in color. Add remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until thick. Add orange juice and peel; blend until smooth. Thoroughly combine flour, finely chopped pistachios and salt; gently fold into egg yolk mixture until well-blended. Fold yolk mixture into beaten whites. Pour into 6 (5 ¾ x 3 ¼ x 2 ¼ inch) ungreased pans; cut through batter with spatula to remove air bubbles. Bake at 325° F. 25 to 35 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pans on wire racks; cool completely. To remove cakes, loosen around edges of pans with knife. Pour Orange Syrup over cakes; allow to sit until syrup is absorbed. Garnish tops of cakes with chopped pistachios.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!