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Caramelized Nectarines with Moscato d’Asti Zabaglione

Sparkling Moscato d’Asti brings a fruity, honeyed essence to zabaglione, a satiny Italian custard sauce. Here, zabaglione adds richness to ripe nectarines, whose texture is softened, flavors are concentrated and sugars are caramelized under the intense heat of a broiler.

Ingredients:

  • 6 nectarines, preferably freestone, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges 
  • 1 Tbs. honey 
  • Nonstick cooking spray 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 1/3 cup Moscato d’Asti 
  • Pinch of salt 

Directions:

Add the nectarine wedges to a large bowl, drizzle with the honey and toss to coat.

Position a rack 3 to 4 inches from the heating element and preheat a broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour 1/4 cup of the sugar into a bowl and dip one of the cut sides of each nectarine wedge into the sugar. Set the wedges, sugared sides up, on the baking sheet and broil until the sugar is bubbling and the nectarines start to brown, 2 to 4 minutes; check often, as broilers’ heat varies. Set aside to cool.

To make the zabaglione, in a saucepan, bring 1 1/2 inches of water to a gentle simmer. In a large stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, Moscato d’Asti, salt and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom does not touch the simmering water. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it is pale and thick and tripled in volume, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Divide the nectarines among dessert bowls or plates, top with the zabaglione and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Desserts, by Raquel Pelzel (Oxmoor House, 2008).