Chilled Zabaglione with Raspberries and Amaretti Recipe
Chilled Zabaglione with Raspberries and Amaretti

by Mario Batali

Cool, creamy and not too sweet, this is my favorite version of the classic Italian Zabaglione dessert.

Zabaglione: The king of custards, Sicilian style

I tend to favor savory over sweet, but I make an exception for zabaglione, the king of custards.

Zabaglione is a combination of egg yolks and sugar, beaten over a pan of simmering water. As the yolks are heated, the mixture thickens, but not so much that the eggs coagulate and curdle. The mixture is typically flavored with Marsala, but like all things Italian, zabaglione is subject to regional interpretation. In some areas, other dessert wines such as vin santo and Moscato are also used.

Zabaglione can also be made without sugar and flavored with roots or spices for a savory condiment. At my restaurant Carnevino in Las Vegas, we sauce steaks with a tangy zabaglione spiced with horseradish.

When we opened Del Posto in New York in 2006, Lidia Bastianich stood over a copper pot, whisking the zabaglione herself in true guru form. Making proper zabaglione requires an understanding of its chemistry as well as of its poetry. Like anything worth doing, zabaglione is labor-intensive. But it is a labor of love. And you can taste the time that goes into every pour.

Cool, creamy and not too sweet, this is my favorite version of the classic Sicilian dessert often served in old-time "red sauce" Italian restaurants all over the United States. You can serve this with any fruit, or substitute for whipped cream as a decadent side dollop to a fine pie.

Chilled Zabaglione with Raspberries and Amaretti Recipe

From The Batali Brothers Cookbook

Serves 8-10.

8 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup dry Marsala or sherry

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled

2 pints fresh raspberries

8 to 10 amaretti cookies

Put a mixing bowl in the fridge to chill it.

Chilled Zabaglione with Raspberries and Amaretti Recipe Directions

Fit a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. (Or use a double boiler.)

Place the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala into the heatproof bowl, and whisk together well. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it is pale and thick, about tripled in volume and happily frothy. (This can take up to 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the water boil beneath the bowl; it should stay at a high simmer.)

Remove the bowl from its pan of simmering water, and place it on a cold surface or stand it in a pan of cold water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is cool, and then set it aside.

In the chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream until it reaches firm peaks. Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the egg mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. (The zabaglione can be made up to 4 hours in advance of serving and refrigerated. Remove it from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving to allow it to soften and come to a cool room temperature, around 50 F.)

Divide the raspberries among eight to 10 old-style champagne coupes or large wine glasses. Spoon the zabaglione over the raspberries, and crumble the amaretti cookie over each serving. Serve immediately.


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