The sim­ply de­li­cious, creamy frozen dessert that doesn’t re­quire churn­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - DAVID LEBOVITZ

Al­though no one seems to mind eat­ing the re­sults, for some rea­son I get a lot of com­plaints from read­ers about the noise that ice cream mak­ers make when churn­ing ice cream.

For one thing, I don’t make the ma­chines. (But I sure do push them!) And an­other is that I’m not sure why peo­ple ex­pect ice cream mak­ers to go about their busi­ness silently, while blenders, stand mix­ers, espresso mak­ers and vac­uum clean­ers get a pass.

Yet the racket from my ice cream ma­chine has never de­terred me from us­ing it, as of­ten as I can, churn­ing up ice creams and sor­bets when­ever the mood strikes. The noise doesn’t bother me in the least.

Thank­fully, you don’t need to switch on an ice cream maker to whip up a frozen dessert. You sim­ply need a tol­er­ance for the sound of a whisk clang­ing against the side of a mix­ing bowl for a few min­utes, as the eggs and wine rise to a creamy foam, which surely any­one can deal with, es­pe­cially when the pay­off is so sweet.

Sabayon is the French ver­sion of zabaglione, a frothy, Marsala-based Ital­ian dessert sauce that’s some­times served on its own, but I like it spooned over juicy fresh berries.

Speaking of French, to make sabayon, the bolder Marsala is tra­di­tion­ally re­placed with a spritzy splash of cham­pagne, mak­ing it lighter in flavour, al­low­ing your berries to shine.

Even bet­ter, it’s easy to make, in a low-tech way. I whip it up by hand in a gen­er­ous cop­per bowl that was given to me by a chef in Nor­mandy, who used the bowl to make a decade’s worth of omelettes — it has plenty of dents and dings to prove it — be­fore he re­tired it.

While I never need an ex­cuse for open­ing a bot­tle of cham­pagne, it’s nice to have left­overs to sip on while you wait for your sabayon to chill. Still, I’ll con­fess that this frozen sabayon is just as good, and more eco­nom­i­cal, if made with an­other fizzy wine, such as Pros­ecco, cava or a Cal­i­for­nia sparkler.

Be­cause the base of this dessert is wine, and al­co­hol in­hibits a firm freeze, it re­mains scoopably soft in the freezer, which is why no churn­ing is re­quired.

The frozen sabayon pairs per­fectly with summer berries, but in the win­ter try it with poached pears or dried apri­cots, or next spring, ac­com­pany it with a com­pote of diced rhubarb sim­mered in a honey-wine syrup. If I had some­thing this good — plus three-quar­ters of a bot­tle of bub­bly — left over as a re­ward ev­ery time I op­er­ated my vac­uum cleaner, I’d do my dust­ing duty a lot more of­ten.

Frozen Sabayon with Fresh Berry Com­pote

This is David Lebovitz’s riff on a frozen zabaglione, made even lighter and silkier thanks to Pros­ecco. No ice cream ma­chine is needed, but the process does pro­vide a good up­per-arm work­out with a whisk. The com­pote is sim­ply mac­er­ated berries; no cook­ing there.

Other sparkling wines can be used, such as cré­mant, cava and cham­pagne. For a non­al­co­holic ver­sion, see the vari­a­tion be­low.

Make ahead: The sabayon needs to be frozen for at least four hours, and up to two weeks (in an air­tight con­tainer).


For the sabayon 6 large egg yolks ¾ cup Pros­ecco or other sparkling wine (see head­note) ½ cup sugar 1 cup chilled heavy cream For the com­pote 2½ cups fresh blue­ber­ries 2½ cups fresh rasp­ber­ries 2 cups hulled, sliced or quar­tered fresh strawberries 5 tea­spoons sugar

For the sabayon: Fill a large bowl with ice and wa­ter for cool­ing down the sabayon.

Whisk to­gether the egg yolks and Pros­ecco in a large, heat­proof bowl. Mix in the sugar, then set the bowl over a wide saucepan par­tially filled with barely bub­bling wa­ter (medium or medium-low heat).

Whisk the mix­ture vig­or­ously, and con­tin­u­ously, un­til it’s thick­ened and holds its shape when you lift the whisk and let some of the sabayon fall back onto the surface; this can take at least five min­utes. Re­move the bowl from the saucepan and seat it in the ice-wa­ter bath. Stir the mix­ture gen­tly, us­ing folding mo­tions with a flex­i­ble spat­ula, un­til cool.

Beat the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with a bal­loon-whisk at­tach­ment, or by hand, un­til stiff, but not grainy.

Fold the whipped cream into the sabayon just un­til no streaks of white are vis­i­ble. Trans­fer the mix­ture into a freezer-safe con­tainer and freeze for at least four hours, or un­til firm enough to scoop.

For the com­pote: Toss all the berries in a mix­ing bowl with the sugar, un­til evenly coated. Let stand for 30 min­utes to one hour, stir­ring a few times as they mac­er­ate, to en­cour­age the berries to re­lease their juices.

To serve, di­vide the com­pote among dessert glasses or cups, then add a scoop of frozen sabayon to each one.

Vari­a­tion: To make the sabayon non­al­co­holic, use the same amount (3/4 cup) of sparkling cider such as Martinelli’s brand; we found in test­ing that the mix­ture needed to be whisked for an ex­tra six min­utes or so to achieve the right con­sis­tency. Just be­fore you re­move the sabayon from the heat to cool, whisk in a tea­spoon or two (to taste) of fresh lemon juice, to help cut any ex­tra sweet­ness. The yield was slightly less (about 5 cups).

Per serv­ing: 290 calo­ries, 6 grams pro­tein, 31 g car­bo­hy­drates, 15 g fat, 8 g sat­u­rated fat, 180 mil­ligrams choles­terol, 65 mg sodium, 4 g di­etary fi­bre, 24 g sugar


The base of this dessert is wine, and al­co­hol in­hibits a firm freeze, so it re­mains scoopably soft in the freezer, which is why no churn­ing is re­quired.

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