Deliciously creamy and slightly boozy, having a great zabaglione recipe up your culinary sleeve is worth its weight in gold. Custard like and indulgent whilst luscious and light, this classic Italian dessert has egg yolks at its heart and only requires a touch of sugar and a tot of sweet Marsala wine to make it in minutes. You can enjoy on its own, or we love to pour it over some slices of poached quince – we’ve included our go-to poaching recipe for you below.
For the zabaglione
Place a large pan with an inch of water on the heat. Take a heatproof bowl that will sit on top of this but not touch the water.
Into the bowl, add the egg yolks and soft brown sugar, then use an electric whisk until it is thick, pale, and creamy. Add the Marsala wine – a tablespoon at a time – whisking in after each addition. Make sure to keep whisking throughout so the eggs do not cook or curdle on the heat.
When all the Marsala is incorporated, keep whisking until you reach the ‘ribbon stage’ which is when the custard leaves a ribbon like trail on the surface of the mixture when the whisk is lifted.
Now your zabaglione is ready. Remove the bowl from the pan, give it one more whisk before serving.
For the poached quinces
Place the caster sugar and water in a large pan along with the spices and orange peel. Gently bring it up to a simmer and let the sugar dissolve.
Add the quince quarters to the pan and place a circular cartouche of baking paper on the top of the water to help keep the quince submerged.
Simmer gently – try not to boil – for 45 minutes until the quince is soft and tender and turned to a pale orange pink colour. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. These can be served warm or cold.
For the zabaglione
4 Burford Brown egg yolks
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
1 pinch salt
For the poached quinces (optional)
800g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 orange peel
3 large quinces, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 litre of water