THERE ARE AS MANY variations on zabaglione, the boozy Italian custard sauce, as there are ways to enjoy it. The dead-simple recipe—in which egg yolks, sugar, and wine are beaten vigorously over low heat to create a sweet dessert— can be made with any wine you like, depending on what you plan to pair it with. (See p. 29 for some of our favorite combinations.) The balance of egg yolks, wine, and sugar in our recipe is based on the traditional master ratio: For each yolk, you would use half an eggshell full of sugar and half an eggshell full of wine. Use Marsala for the most classic flavor, then experiment with other wines to your taste.
TOTAL 10 MIN; MAKES 4 CUPS
6 large egg yolks 1/2 cup granulated sugar Pinch of kosher salt 1/2 cup sweet wine, such as Marsala, Moscato, or Vin Santo
1 1 BEAT yolks in a heatproof bowl (preferably copper) until combined. Add sugar and salt, whisking constantly, until combined.
3HEAT mixture over a saucepan of barely simmering water, whisking vigorously to incorporate air into mixture. 3
2 2POUR wine into yolk mixture, and whisk until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds.
4 4WHISK until custard is warm, tripled in volume, and dragging the whisk across it leaves a ribbon on the surface, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve immediately, or whisk over an ice bath until cooled.