Known as sabayon in France, where it is often made with Champagne, this foamy egg sauce is called zabaglione in Italy and made typically with Sicily’s Marsala wine.
Most Marsala sold in America is inexpensive and either sweet or dry. Higher-quality options might be marked with an age statement or, more rarely, a vintage. Save the good stuff for drinking, best chilled with biscotti and a cheese plate. Use inexpensive Marsala for a lovely zabaglione.
Marsala gives a raisiny perfume to this dessert, turning simple egg yolks, lemon zest and sugar into something distinctly Italian. Often an ingredient in tiramisu, zabaglione is just as good poured over berries and peaches, and garnished with granola. Or, for a distinctly Italian experience, spoon it over small cups of hot espresso for an elevated coffee service.
This recipe is easily adaptable to other fortified wines, although the amount of sugar may need adjustment. This ratio used is one tablespoon of wine and one tablespoon sugar for every egg yolk, but a minimum of four yolks is needed to execute the sauce well.
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons sweet Marsala
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
In pot, bring 2 inches water to gentle boil.
Whisk egg yolks, Marsala and sugar together in metal bowl until foamy. The bowl should be able to rest comfortably over pot.
Place bowl atop pot. Whisk mixture vigorously as steam gently cooks sauce. Remove bowl from heat once sauce thickens enough to ribbon, approximately 2–3 minutes.
Add lemon zest, and whisk sauce for 1 minute until cooled slightly. Serves 2, with fruit.