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This light and foamy custard is traditionally flavored with Marsala, but other sweet wines, such as Vin Santo or tawny port, can be used. Be sure the water is simmering very gently as you cook the custard, or the egg yolks will curdle.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 7 egg yolks 
  • 1 cup sweet Marsala  
  • 2 to 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced, or fresh figs, stemmed and quartered  

Directions:

Select a heatproof bowl that fits snugly in the rim of a saucepan. Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into the saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer. Meanwhile, in the heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow, thick and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Continuing to whisk, gradually add the Marsala.

Place the bowl over, but not touching, the simmering water in the pan and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and frothy and has tripled in volume, about 10 minutes.

Divide the fruit among dessert bowls and top with the zabaglione, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).