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Dessert in a flash

With berry season in full swing, dessert is always close at hand. Fresh berries by themselves, or on top of ice cream or good yogurt are hard to beat. But, if you’ve got a few eggs, some sugar, and some sherry or late harvest white wine, you can make a very impressive dessert in minutes.

True Italian zabaglione or French sabayon contains only egg yolks, but this can be a bit heavy for fresh berries. Adding a few whole eggs as Marcella Hazan recommends can lighten the sauce up, but you have to be a bit more careful with the cooking.

To avoid having bits of cooked egg flecking the finished sauce you will need a heavy bottomed sauce pan. In lieu of this, you can place the ingredients in a glass bowl placed inside a larger pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. You may need a potholder to hold on to the bowl, as it will be quite warm by the end of the process. You may also want to pre-check the water level in the pan with the bowl empty to make sure adding the bowl won’t send water over the edge of the pan.

You can serve this sauce warm over berries with a few grains of freshly ground black pepper as Thad Morrow has at bacaro. It sounds odd, I know, but the pepper rounds it out perfectly. Or, serve it as a cold mousse with berries on top.

Lightened Zabaglione

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ c sugar
  • 2 ½ T sherry or late harvest white wine
  • 1 c heavy cream (if serving cold)

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and wine together in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, or in a glass bowl placed into a pan of simmering water. Stir mixture constantly with a whisk as this sauce is all about volume. It will foam. And, as the proteins begin to coagulate, it will thicken. This can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending u

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