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Zabaglione with Strawberries

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Zabaglione with strawberries is a rich, simple dessert that can be served warm or chilled. Fresh strawberries add a lovely fruitiness to the custard-like sauce. If you’ve never tried zabaglione before, you’re in for a treat!

This simple Italian dessert is made with Marsala which adds a sweet, boozy flavor. It’s quite easy to prepare and only requires six ingredients and 15 minutes to make! Spoon the zabaglione into individual dessert cups for a pretty presentation.

Four wine glasses filled with zabaglione and strawberries.

What is Zabaglione?

Zabaglione is a classic Italian dessert made with egg yolks, Marsala wine and sugar. It’s an ultra-light custard that’s still intensely rich with a subtle vanilla flavor.

Our recipe for zabaglione with strawberries makes a delicious after-dinner treat that is sweet, rich and fruity, exactly what summer evenings call for. If you like this recipe, we think you will like our strawberries with marsala and ricotta.

The Ingredients

The ingredient list is short and sweet! Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. You will need:

  • Strawberries
  • Egg yolks
  • Sugar
  • Marsala wine
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

Before preparing the zabaglione, make sure you have a heat-proof bowl that is wide enough to sit on top of your saucepan. The zabaglione requires cooking with this double-boiler method.

Let’s Make Zabaglione with Strawberries:

While zabaglione with strawberries is easy to prepare, you will need to pay extra attention during the cooking process. The egg yolks will cook quickly so make sure to continually whisk the mixture. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the entire recipe (and recipe notes) along with the ingredient amounts.

Here’s a brief rundown of the steps for our strawberry zabaglione recipe:

  1. Prepare the strawberries. Hull and slice the strawberries. Divide them among four serving dishes (wine glasses work great for this!). Set them aside.
  2. Make the zabaglione. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, Marsala, vanilla, and salt in a double boiler and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove it from the heat and continue to whisk for another couple of minutes to allow it to cool a bit.
  3. Serve the zabaglione. Divide the warm zabaglione custard into the four serving dishes and either serve immediately or place it in the refrigerator to chill. Zabaglione has the best flavor when served slightly warm. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.

If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own double boiler with a pot and a bowl.

How to Know When Zabaglione is Ready:

The custard is ready once it reaches the “ribbon stage,” meaning it will leave a ribbon-like trail when it falls from the whisk. The photos above show what the egg mixture should look like when it is thick enough and comes to the ribbon stage. I talk more about the ribbon stage in our recipe for hot milk sponge cake.

Four wine glasses filled with zabaglione and strawberries.

Tips for Success

Here are a few things to keep in mind when following this traditional zabaglione recipe:

  • Make sure you’re ready to whisk the mixture as soon as the sugar is added to the egg yolks. If the sugar sits in the yolks for more than a few seconds, it will start to burn the yolks. Once you pour the sugar into the egg yolks, begin whisking immediately.
  • Check the water in your saucepan frequently. It shouldn’t come to a boil and the bowl should never touch the simmering water. Zabaglione requires gentle heating otherwise the eggs in the custard can scramble.
  • When the zabaglione custard is whipped, it will double in size so make sure to use a bowl that is large enough.
Zabaglione drizzled over sliced strawberries.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can zabaglione be made ahead of time? Since zabaglione can be served warm or chilled, you can easily prepare it ahead if time and store it in the fridge. Keep in mind that once it’s chilled, we don’t recommend reheating the custard.
  • What is the difference between sabayon and zabaglione? There’s not much of a difference at all! Sabayon is essentially another name for zabaglione (almost like a different pronunciation/spelling) and is made with whipped egg yolks, sugar, and wine.
  • What is the difference between custard and zabaglione? While a traditional zabaglione recipe is very similar to custard in taste, the main difference between these two desserts is that custard is made with milk or cream while zabaglione is not.
  • What does zabaglione taste like? It is dreamy-light yet rich in flavor and incredibly creamy. The Marsala and vanilla add a boozy sweetness to the custard. Zabaglione with berries is a popular pairing and you can easily swap in the strawberries for your favorite fruit of choice (blueberries, raspberries, peaches, etc.).

We hope you love this recipe for zabaglione with strawberries! It will transport you (or at least your taste buds) to a charming Italian café. 😉

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A glass filled with strawberries and zabaglione.

Zabaglione with Strawberries

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Marsala gives a sweet, boozy flavor to this rich, custard-like sauce. The zabaglione has the best flavor when it is still slightly but you can serve it chilled.

Before you get started make sure you read the notes. You will want to find a heat-proof bowl that is wide enough to sit on top of a saucepan.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Hull and slice the strawberries. Divide the strawberries among four serving dishes (we used wine glasses). Set aside while you make the zabaglione. 
  2. Place a couple of inches of water in a saucepan and bring the water to a very gentle boil.
  3. Place the egg yolks, sugar, Marsala, vanilla, and salt in a wide, heat-proof bowl. Whisk the egg yolk mixture until it starts to get foamy. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water). Continue to whisk constantly for about 6 to 8 minutes. until the mixture is thickened. 
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and continue to whisk for about 2 more minutes to cool it down slightly. 
  5. Divide the zabaglione custard into the four serving dishes. 

Notes

  • Make sure you are ready to whisk the mixture as soon as you add the sugar to the egg yolks. If you let the sugar sit in the yolks for more than a few seconds, the sugar will start to burn the yolks. Be prepared to start whisking right away. 
  • Check the water in the pot frequently. You don’t want the water to come to a boil. You also do not want the bowl to touch the simmering water. The goal is to heat the zabaglione very gently so you don’t make scrambled eggs. 
  • Choose a bowl that is large enough for the zabaglione mixture to double in size when it gets whipped.
  • When the zabaglione custard is thick enough, it will reach the ribbon stage and leave a ribbon-like trail when you let it fall from your whisk. See the photos in the post for reference. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 184mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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