Summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, and it is during this time of year that most people are venturing off on vacation, throwing outdoor soirees, and basking in the warm glow of the sun. If you aren’t able to jet off to Italy this summer, bring a taste of Italy to your next alfresco event. Zabaglione [zah-bahl-YOH-nay] is a delicious addition to most any dinner gathering, and it isn’t difficult to prepare.
A Little Info about Zabaglione
Also referred to as zabaione, sabayon, or zabajone, this Italian specialty is thought to have originated as far back as the 16th century, in or near the city of Florence. It is similar to custard, but the consistency is more like a fusion of eggnog and mousse. Traditionally zabaglione is prepared with Marsala wine, egg yoke, and sugar; the eggshells were used as measuring spoons. Many variations of the recipe exist today, which incorporate different dessert wines and liqueurs. The addition of whipped, heavy cream is also often used and gives the dish a richer composition.
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes
5 egg yolks
5 teaspoons of sugar
5 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine (dry Marsala wine, sherry, sweet vermouth, or amaretto make nice substitutions)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream (whipped) is optional, and this may be a better option if you are preparing the recipe ahead of time
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1. Heat water in a double boiler to a slow simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, and then begin warming the mixture. Continue stirring vigorously throughout the entire preparation of this recipe.
2. Add the Marsala wine and vanilla. You don’t want to overcook the eggs (curdling is a bad thing), so it is ok to remove the zabaglione from the double boiler to cool for a few seconds.
3. Cooking time should take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes. The volume will eventually triple in size and the liquid will thicken. When the texture lightens and appears to have almost a meringue-like quality to it, remove pan from the burner. Whisk the contents for another 1 to 2 minutes.
4. If you would like to add the 1/2 cup of whipped, heavy cream, fold it into the mixture at this point.
5. Ladle the sauce over the berries; it is delicious served either warm or chilled. If you are preparing this beforehand, keep the zabaglione and fruit separate until you are ready to dish it up. This dessert looks especially nice when presented in a trifle bowl.
If you would like to experience the most authentic Italian cuisine possible, book flights to Florence and create your own taste of Italy tour. Buon Appetito and enjoy the rest of your summer!