Cookbook Profile

Italian Fruit Salad
with Sta Bene Honey Zabaglione

Serves 6


Italians often serve a macerated fruit salad (macedonia) for dessert, and its contents will typically change with the seasons. I've used summer fruits here, but you could follow the same outline to make a winter macedonia with pineapple, bananas, oranges, apples, and grapes. Change the liqueur to rum or sambuca, if you prefer.

The honey zabaglione stays stable for a couple of days, which is why I call it sta bene, which loosely means that it holds well. You can serve the zabaglione chilled or, if you like, you can make it in front of your guests and serve it at room temperature.

Fruit Salad:
1/2 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pound apricots, plums, or pluots, sliced
2 peaches, peeled if desired, sliced
1/2 pint blueberries
2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon superfine sugar, or more to taste
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

6 egg yolks
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to firm peaks

Make the fruit salad: In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, apricots, peaches, and blueberries. Add the Cointreau, 1 tablespoon sugar, and lemon zest. Toss gently, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Make the zabaglione: In a large stainless-steel bowl or the top pan of a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks with the honey until blended. Set the bowl over-not touching-simmering water and whisk vigorously until the mixture lightens in color and thickens and the whisk leaves a trail, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and continue whisking constantly until the mixture is pale, thick, and greatly expanded in volume, about 10 minutes. The mixture will curdle if it gets too hot, so whisk it off the heat for a few seconds if you fear the eggs are cooking too fast.

When the zabaglione is light, fluffy, and capable of holding a soft peak, transfer the bowl to a larger bowl filled with ice water to cool the zabaglione quickly. When cool, fold in the whipped cream. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To serve, divide the fruit among 6 compote dishes or small plates. Put a dollop of zabaglione alongside.


Buy the Book!


Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking
Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends
by Michael Chiarello with Janet Fletcher
Chronicle Books
Photographs by Deborah Jones
ISBN 0811833836
$35.00 Hardcover
216 pp; 109 color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking



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This page created December 2002