Zabaione (Sabayon, Zabaglione)

Garnished with flowers …

This dish is a rarity. I can’t readily think of another dish that is based upon whipped egg yolks, but it’s such a wonderful comfort food, that one wonders why there aren’t more. Maybe it’s because it’s hard to imagine an improvement on this recipe.

Zabaione (or Sabayon in France) is often served alone as a light custard, or with fruit. It is apparently an American practice to serve this in a wine glass with fruit such as berries or peaches, but the pleasure of this combination need not be limited to the New World.

I have raspberries, blackberries and yellow raspberries for this tonight, and I’ll serve them in separate piles atop the custard. The Romanian flag is blue, yellow and red, so I will pretend that I am serving Satou – which would be much like this, but made with sweet Muscatel.


4 egg yolks

1/4 C sugar

1/4 C Marsala wine


Place a round-bottomed mixing bowl atop a saucepan with 2-3cm of water in the bottom and place the whole on low heat. Place the egg yolks in the bowl and, as the water heats, beat with a balloon whisk until the yolks are foamy and pale. Gradually add the sugar, and then the wine. Continuously beat the custard until it is thick and foamy. Serve immediately while warm.

If the heat is too high the custard will be grainy.


About timwaterman

I am a landscape architect, urbanist, writer, and lecturer based in London.

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