Italy is home to the oldest continuously-inhabited Jewish community in Europe. This light custard is a perfect way to end a meat meal. The egg yolks are flavored and cooked gently over simmering water to allow the yolks to expand and thicken. If the egg yolk gets too hot, it will cook and you will have very delicious scrambled eggs!
The classic version of this sauce is made with Marsala wine. The French use champagne and call it sabayon. Either way, this is delicious over fruit and/or a simple pound cake.
- Place the egg yolks and the sugar in a double boiler or a 1-quart saucepan, and whisk together until a thick ribbon of mixture pours off the whisk.
- Place the pan over another pan containing hot, but not boiling, water. The mixture shouldn’t be so hot that it will cook the eggs.
- Add the Marsala, water, and brandy to the sugar-egg mixture. Whisk constantly over the warm water for four minutes until a nice, thick custard is formed.
- When the custard has thickened, immediately remove it from the heat or you'll end up with fancy scrambled eggs!
- Have your fresh berries divided into 5 or 6 serving dishes or glasses. Pour the zabaglione over the fruit and serve.
- Egg yolks are used for flavor and as a coloring and thickening agent in sauces and baked goods.
- Using a whisk while the sauce is cooking incorporates air into the yolks, and the yolks cook in their volumized state, creating a light, airy consistency.