Zabaglione (zah-ba-lee-OHN-eh), also known as sabayon, is a dessert of Italian origin. Many zabaglione fiends will eat it on its own like pudding, but it’s great served for dipping with cookies, atop pound cake, or with fresh fruit, as it is here. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the broiling, though it adds a toastiness reminiscent of browned marshmallows.
What to buy: The right equipment makes whisking this by hand much easier. A large stainless steel or glass bowl is ideal, as either will efficiently conduct heat. Also, a large balloon whisk is best, since the speed with which you incorporate air is crucial to the zabaglione’s texture. Don’t bother with the silicone variety though: The tines are too flimsy for the job.
Use fresh eggs, and keep in mind that the eggs may not end up fully cooked, in case you are serving guests with dietary restrictions.
Game plan: Though not crucial, if you have the time you should bring the eggs yolks to room temperature before starting. They will take in much more air if they’re at room temp.
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Beverage pairing: Donnafugata Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria, Italy. Passito di Pantelleria is a classic sweet wine from a volcanic, rock-strewn island near Sicily. Its bright, clear aromas of peach, citrus, spice, and nuts will make a dynamite combination with the ripe pluots or apricots in the dessert, while the viscous, rich texture of the wine will be a nice contrast with the creamy zabaglione.